B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., Harvard University
Assistant Professor of History
Historian of early American and Native American history, English colonialism and cultural encounters, environmental history, and violence in American history.
Katherine Grandjean holds a B.A. in History from Yale University and a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. Her research explores early English colonization and the encounter with Native peoples, as well as the origins of American violence. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Historical Association, and the Charles Warren Center for American History, and has appeared in such journals as the William and Mary Quarterly, American Quarterly, and Early American Studies. A recent essay, “New World Tempests: Environment, Scarcity, and the Coming of the Pequot War,” won the American Society for Environmental History's 2012 Alice Hamilton Prize for Best Article and the William and Mary Quarterly’s 2014 Douglass Adair Memorial Award.
She recently published her first book, American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England. The book retells the story of early New England's settling, through the dark, confused world of communication. Who could travel where, who controlled the routes winding through the woods, who dictated what news might be sent—These questions, in American Passage, reveal a new dimension of contest and conquest in early America. Upcoming articles will explore Native resistance to European colonization, as well as the folklore and artifacts surrounding American memory of the colonial period. She is also at work on a new book on violence and murder in eighteenth-century North America.
At Wellesley, Professor Grandjean teaches courses on colonial American history, Native American history, the history of American food, and the history of violence and terror in early America.