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Haverford College
Department of History

Bethel Saler

Associate Professor of History

Office: Hall 213
Phone: 610.896.1060




Professor Saler currently offer a broad range of courses in early American history. Her new introductory-level course, "Postcards from the Atlantic World," explores the rise of a trans-Atlantic world connecting Europe, the Americas and Africa from the 15th through 19th centuries. She also teaches courses on 18th and 19th C. United States History, Native American History, and Gender and U.S. Women's History. Her upper-level seminars include The Early Republic, History and Theory and the History of North American Borderlands.


Saler's new book project looks at U.S. relations with the North African states (Tripoli, Tunisia, Algieria, Morocco—commonly known as the Barbary States) and American cultural and state formation during period of the early republic. Her research interests center on gender and theory, Native American history, the history of the North American fur trade and more broadly, in the relationship between North American "Wests" and the "West/Occident" defined against a colonial "East/Orient"). Her fellowships include a U.S.-Canadian Fulbright Fellowship; the Monticello Fellowship at the Newberry Library, Chicago, IL; Senior Fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers, The University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.

Recent publications


  • A Settlers' Empire: Colonialism and State Building in America's Old Northwest, 1783—1850 (The University of Pennsylvania, forthcoming)


  • Bethel Saler and Carolyn Podruchny, "Glass Curtains and Storied Landscapes: The Fur Trade, National Boundaries, and Historians," in Bridging National Borders in North America, ed. Andrew Graybill, Benjamin Johnson and Joseph E. Taylor III (Duke University Press, 2010)
  • "An Empire for Liberty, a State for Empire: The U.S. National State before and After the Revolution of 1800," in The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, & the New Republic, ed. James Horn, Jan Ellen Lewis & Peter Onuf (University of Virginia Press, 2002)