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New Papers of Andrew Jackson Director Shares Vision for Future of Project

Michael E. Woods takes the reins of the Papers of Andrew Jackson project this fall and looks forward to working with a diverse range of scholars and audiences. He also joins the UT Department of History as an associate professor. For years, the Papers of Andrew Jackson editorial team has produced carefully edited volumes that are an essential tool for scholars in many historical fields.

“I am honored and excited to serve as director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson project,” Woods said. “The project has always been a collective effort, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the project’s superb editorial team to produce published volumes of the highest caliber.”

As director, Woods plans two initiatives that will promote inclusion, collaboration, and innovation in the study of early American history. First, he will recruit an advisory board of scholars whose expertise reflects the vibrancy and breadth of scholarship on the Early Republic and Antebellum eras. His second initiative is to work with the board to develop a speaker series for the upcoming academic year.

“I look forward to working with members of this new board to create programming that highlights emergent scholarship and fosters future research on the Early Republic and Antebellum eras,” Wood said. “The speaker series will showcase the work of scholars who have incorporated resources from the Papers of Andrew Jackson into their reinterpretations of the past. The Papers of Andrew Jackson project has much to offer to, as well as much to learn from, scholars in a variety of fields, including Native American history and Indigenous studies; African American history and the study of slavery, resistance, and abolition; political, legal, and constitutional history; and military history.”

Michael Woods will replace Daniel Feller who, in a long-planned transition, entered emeritus status on July 31 after 17 years as Professor of History and Editor/Director of the Jackson Papers. The project has received major grant support from two federal agencies, In 2017, the project won the Thomas Jefferson Prize, awarded by the Society for History in the Federal Government.

“Under Dan’s leadership, the Jackson papers project has made a bid to become the most productive and respected documentary editing project of its kind in the country,” said Thomas Coens, associate editor of the Jackson Papers. “We have published at a breakneck clip while maintaining rigorous standards of thoroughness and accuracy.”

Woods received his PhD from the University of South Carolina in 2012. His research focus is the political and cultural history of the nineteenth-century United States, with particular interest in partisanship and the politics of sectionalism and slavery from the 1830s through Reconstruction. He is the award-winning author of three books on the subject. Woods has published articles in Journal of the Civil War Era, Civil War History, Slavery & Abolition, West Virginia History, the Journal of American History, and the Journal of Social History. His research has been supported by American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the Papers of Andrew Jackson

The Papers of Andrew Jackson project collects and publishes Jackson’s entire extant literary record. After an extended worldwide search, project members have obtained photocopies of every known and available Jackson document, including letters he wrote and received, official and military papers, drafts, memoranda, legal papers, and financial records – some 100,000 items in all. The editorial team is now producing a series of 17 volumes that brings Jackson’s most important papers to the public in easily readable form. The Papers of Andrew Jackson is sponsored by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and supported by grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Tennessee Historical Commission, and the Watson-Brown Foundation.