Chris Magra is an Associate Professor of Early American history at the University of Tennessee. His research explores early American social and economic history. He is particularly interested in merchants and maritime laborers. Cambridge University Press published his first book The Fisherman’s Cause: Atlantic Commerce and Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution in 2009, which won the Winslow House Book Prize. This book examines transatlantic business rivalries and resource competition that helped bring about the imperial crisis. He is finishing his second book, Poseidon’s Curse, an analysis of the business costs of British naval impressment and the economic origins of the Revolution. He has written articles for several academic journals, including the International Review of Social History and the New England Quarterly. Two of these articles won prizes. He has been a research fellow at the David Library of the American Revolution, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the University of Tennessee’s Humanities Center. He has presented research papers at academic forums in Canada, the Netherlands, and throughout the United States, including the American Historical Association’s annual meeting and the Omihundro Institute of Early American History’s annual conference. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Early America and the Atlantic World.
Ph.D., The University of Pittsburgh, 2006
Awards and Recognitions
- The 2013 David Library of the American Revolution Fellowship
- The 2013 University of Tennessee Humanities Center Research Fellowship
- The 2012 University of Tennessee Summer Graduate Research Assistantship
Student nomination for the 2012 University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award
- The 2011 University of Tennessee Summer Graduate Research Assistantship
- The 2011 University of Tennessee Professional Development Award
- The 2011 University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Grant for Faculty Research
- The 2010 Winslow House Book Award
- The 2009 California State University at Northridge College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Competition Grant
- The 2008 Keith Matthews Award for best article published in the Northern Mariner in 2007
- The 2008 California State University at Northridge Probationary Faculty Support Program Grant
- The 2007 California State University at Northridge College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Summer Research Grant
- Finalist for the 2007 Herman E. Krooss Dissertation Prize
- The 2005-06 Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship
- The 2005 Peabody Essex Museum Research Fellowship
- The 2005 W.B.H. Dowse Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society
- The 2005 Samuel P. Hays Research Grant
- The 2002 Pennsylvania State Society Daughters of the American Colonists History Award
Work In Progress
- Poseidon’s Curse: Naval Impressment and Atlantic Origins of the American Revolution.
- “A Transnational Approach To Business Life in Early Massachusetts”
- “Sugar and Capitalism: Market-Driven Fear, the Sugar Act, and the Origins of the American Revolution”
- The Fisherman’s Cause: Atlantic Commerce and Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Winner of the 2010 Winslow House Book award.
- “Anti-Impressment Riots and the Origins of the Age of Revolution,” The International Review of Social History, 58 (Special Issue, 2013): 131-151.
- “The Fraternity of the Sea: Family, Friendship, and Fishermen In Colonial Massachusetts, 1750-1775,” International Journal of Maritime History, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Dec 2010), 113-128.
- “Beyond the Banks: The Integrated Wooden Working World of Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts’ Cod Fisheries,” The Northern Mariner/ Le Marin Du Nord, Vol. 17, No. 1 (January, 2007; actual printing January, 2008), 1-15. Winner of the 2008 Keith Matthews Award.
- “Faith At Sea: Exploring Maritime Religiosity in the Eighteenth Century,” International Journal of Maritime History, Vol. 19, No. 1 (June 2007), 87-106.