Nancy Isenberg

Nancy Isenberg 

T. Harry Williams Professor
225A Himes Hall


Courses Taught

Crime, Conspiracy and Courtroom Dramas; Scandals in American History; Graduate Reading Seminar to 1800; America’s Founding Myths


Current Research Interests

American political culture, and legal and constitutional history in the U.S.


Interested in Directing Theses On

Early American politics and law, and class, gender and racial conflicts in U.S. History



B.A., History, Rutgers University, 1980; M.A., Ph.D., American History, University of Wisconsin, 1990


Awards and Honors

2017 LSU Distinguished Research Master Award
Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism and Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, 2017.
Finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize in History, 2017
#4 on Politico Magazine’s Annual List of the “50 Most important Thinkers” of 2016.
Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, for Op-Eds on the musical Hamilton, 2016
2008 Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography
2008 Award for best non-fiction book, Oklahoma Center for the Book, for Fallen Founder
2007-2008, 2003-2004, Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society.
2003, First Union International Fellowship, International Center for Jefferson Studies.
1999 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) book prize for Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America


Notable Articles

“Left Behind,” New York Review of Books (June 28, 2018): 16-20.

“Cosmopolitanism vs. Provincialism: How the Politics of Place Hurts America,” with Andrew Burstein, Hedgehog Review, Vol. 19, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 58-69.

“To Stand Out in Heresy’: Lucretia Mott, Liberty, and the Hysterical Woman,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (January 2003)

“Laissez-Unfaire: Gender and the Political Manipulation of the Common Law in Antebellum America,” Tulsa Law Review (Summer 2002)

“Not ‘Anyone’s Daughter’: Patty Hearst and the Postmodern Legal Subject,” American Quarterly (December 2000)

“ ‘Pillars in the Same Temple and Priests of the Same Worship’: The Feminist Politics of Church and State in Antebellum America,” Journal of American History (June 1998)



The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality (forthcoming from Viking, 2019). Coauthored with Andrew Burstein.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Viking, 2016)

Madison and Jefferson (Random House, 2010). Coauthored with Andrew Burstein

Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (Viking, 2007)

Mortal Remains: Death in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003). Co-edited with Andrew Burstein

Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America (University of North Carolina Press, 1998)