Joanne B. Freeman

Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, is a leading expert on early American politics and culture. The author of the award-winning Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic, and editor of Alexander Hamilton: Writings and The Essential Hamilton, Freeman is particularly well known for her expertise in dirty, nasty politics, an interest that has made her work particularly relevant in recent years. Her most recent book, The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence and Road to Civil War, explores the impact and legacies of physical violence in the U.S. Congress in the decades leading up to the Civil War.

Long committed to public-minded history, she has been an historical advisor for writers, documentary filmmakers, the National Park Service, and a playwright; Lin-Manuel Miranda used her work in writing Hamilton. She is the lead historian in the Hamilton-linked traveling exhibit, which opens in the spring of 2019. A co-host of the popular American history podcast BackStory, she is a frequent commentator on PBS, NPR, CNN, the BBC, and MSNBC, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, TIME magazine, and Slate, among others. Her Yale online course, The American Revolution, has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people in homes and classrooms around the world.

A fellow of the Society of American Historians, Freeman has won fellowships from, among others, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Dirksen Congressional Research Center, the American Historical Association, and the Library of Congress. A board member of the Library of America, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and the National Council for History Education, she was named one of the nation’s Top Young Historians in 2001.  Freeman was awarded the DeVane Award for Teaching and Scholarship by Yale University in 2017, and the Clauss Prize for Teaching in the Humanities in 2018.

Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan


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