Brett Goodin

Brett Goodin is a Global Perspectives on Society Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU Shanghai. He researches the United States in the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His first book, From Captives to Consuls (Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2020) is a collective biography that explores the meandering life courses of three American sailors who were held as white slaves in the North African “Barbary States.” The book is a study of the predominant type of self-made men in the early American republic, who typically moved sideways rather than upward, and influenced and reflected American nation-building and evolving concepts of liberty, masculinity and nationhood in the early republic through the Jacksonian era. He is now working on a new book project, Conflict, Commerce and Self-discovery: American sailors and the Asia-Pacific, 1784-1914, about the role of American sailors in the Asia-Pacific (including China) and how they leveraged their experiences to shape domestic developments in science, culture and politics within the U.S.

Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, Dr. Goodin taught at the Australian National University and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, in addition to the Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania. His research has also been supported by fellowships from the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, the American Philosophical Society, the International Center of Jefferson Studies at Monticello, the Huntington Library, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Episode 9: Victims of Independence

March 9, 2021

James Leander Cathcart and Richard O'Brien were uniquely suited to their jobs, from one point of view: they had spent a lot of time in the region they were consuls to--as captives of the ruler during the previous decade.

Guest: Brett Goodin