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Rachel St. John
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Rachel St. John

University of California, Davis

Fellowship year

2024 - University of California, Davis - Study 52

Rachel St. John will spend her fellowship year at CASBS working on her second book, The Imagined States of America: The Unmanifest History of Nineteenth-century North America. This book will provide a new history of North America by illuminating how the continent’s tri-national division emerged from many national possibilities. The nineteenth century witnessed the rise and fall of dozens of nations that vied for legitimacy and land across North America and the Caribbean and Pacific islands that were increasingly brought into its orbit. Bringing that history into focus, St. John tells the stories of Indigenous and Black national projects alongside those conceived by white men, highlighting the diversity of North American political history and linking the western history of conquest and incorporation and the eastern history of secession and Reconstruction.

St. John is associate professor of history at UC Davis. She specializes in the history of the United States, nineteenth-century North America, and the West with a particular emphasis on space, state-formation, and nation-building. Her first book is Line in the Sand: A History of the Western US-Mexico Border (Princeton University Press, 2012).