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Cohen, Kenneth

Chair of Military History and Curator of Early American History

I am a scholar of early America whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of popular culture with political and military history. I ask questions such as: How was the American Revolution shaped by popular culture? What are the changing criteria for fame and celebrity over the course of the nation's history? My public history work also focuses on the period before 1900 but ranges much more widely, including oystering and environmental change in the Chesapeake Bay, the legacies of the Mayflower landing, and considering the impact of Revolutionary War battlefields on local Indigenous and African American communities. This wide array of work requires a familiarity with many source materials, so I also write and work with students and other audiences on historical method -- how to use historical evidence ranging from art, architecture, and smaller artifacts to big data and the many types of published and manuscript documents that can illuminate the past and connect it to our lives today.


Research Areas

Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training


Selected Publications

Editor Of

  • Book

    • Cohen, Kenneth and Troutman, John, editors. 2022. Entertainment Nation. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. 2022