David Prior

Assistant Professor

Photo: David Prior

Email: dmprior@unm.edu
Office: Mesa Vista Hall 1078


B.A. Hamilton College
M.A. University of South Carolina
Ph.D University of South Carolina

Research Interests:

Nineteenth Century United States, Civil War and Reconstruction, Nations and Nationalism, Atlantic and International History


Dr. David Prior's book project, Reconstruction Unbound: American Worldviews in a Period of Promise and Conflict, 1865-1874, examines how Americans thought nationally and globally in the wake of the Civil War.  It contends that while struggles in and about the South fired the political conflicts that defined Reconstruction, Republicans and Democrats understood themselves as acting within much larger historical contexts.  By exploring when and why Reconstruction's partisans expressed concern with disparate places and events, his manuscript reconsiders the intellectual and political culture of the Civil War-era United States.  He has published research articles on American interest and involvement in the 1866 Cretan Insurrection against the Ottoman Empire (Journal of Social History) and on northern Republican attempts to reconstruct Mormon society in the Utah Territory (Civil War History), the latter of which won awards from the Western History Association and the Utah State Historical Society.  He has also published a historiographical and conceptual essay about the future of Atlantic history (History Compass).  His research on the exploration of Africa and the politics of race in the United States has received support (jointly) from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Mellon Foundation.  He recently had the privilege to organize, moderate, and edit a discussion on "Teaching the American Civil War Era in Global Context" that will be published by the Journal of the Civil War Era in 2015 and served in a similar capacity for the Journal of American History's forthcoming Interchange on the History of Capitalism.

For several years he has also managed H-Nationalism, H-Net's scholarly network for the study of nationalism.  Recruiting and working with excellent volunteer editors and advisory board members from Australia, Belorussia, Britain, Romania, Turkey, and the United States, Dr. prior has overseen the development of H-Nationalism's syllabus database, new publications newsletter, collaborative bibliography, twitter profile, and blog program.  Scholars interested in contributing to H-Nationalism's main page may click here to view their website, or contact Dr. Prior directly.

Recent/Select Publications:

Moderator and editor, "Teaching the American Civil War Era in Global Context," Journal of the Civil War Era, (forthcoming, 2015)

Moderator and editor, "Interchange: The History of Capitalism," Journal of American History, (September 2014)

"After the Revolution: An Alternative Future for Atlantic History," History Compass 12:. (March 2014): 300-309

Contribution on Paul Du Chaillu, Phil Lapansky: Appreciations (Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia, 2012) 126-128

"Civilization, Republic, Nation: Contested Keywords, Northern Republicans, and the Forgotten Reconstruction of Mormon Utah," Civil War History 56:3 (September 2010) 281-308

" 'Crete the Opening Wedge': Nationalism and International Affairs in Postbellum America," Journal of Social History 42:3 (June 2009): 861-887


LCP-HSP Mellon Research Fellowship, 2011

Michael P. Malone Article Award, Western History Association, 2011

Leroy S. Axland Best Utah history Article award, 2011

Graduate School Fellow, University of South Carolina, 2004-2010


  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • The American Civil War in Global Context
  • U.S. History to 1877
  • U.S. History since 1877
  • Nations and Nationalism