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Rob Harper


Rob Harper joined the History Department in 2008. His research and teaching interests include early America, American Indian history, North American borderlands, the early modern Atlantic world, historical memory, gender and sexuality, and the comparative study of settler colonialism, violence, and state formation. He also coordinates the certificate program in Native American and Indigenous Studies and oversees the Native Central Wisconsin Project.

On campus, Harper advises the UWSP History Club. Professor Harper is also a member of the UWSP Academic Representation Council (UW-SPARC).


“Headwaters Sovereignty: Native Nations in Post-Treaty Wisconsin” – In progress.

Harper, Rob. “Unsettling the West: Violence and State Building in the Ohio Valley.” University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.

“The Politics of Coalition Building in the Ohio Valley, 1765–1774,” in Borderland Narratives: Exploring North America’s Contested Spaces, 1500-1850, ed. Glenn Crothers and Andrew Frank. University of Florida Press, 2017.  

“Looking the Other Way: The Gnadenhutten Massacre and the Contextual Interpretation of Violence,” William and Mary Quarterly. 2007. Reprinted in Theatres of Violence: Massacre, Mass Killing and Atrocity Throughout History, ed. Philip Dwyer and Lyndall Ryan. Berghahn Books, 2012.

“State Intervention and Extreme Violence in the Eighteenth-Century Ohio Valley.” Journal for Genocide Research. 2008.


  • American Historical Association
  • American Society for Ethnohistory
  • History SoTL: An International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History
  • Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
  • Western History Association


“The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” —William Faulkner, 1951

Professor of History
Native American and Indigenous Studies Coordinator

CCC 462


Ph.D. - American History
University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.A. - History
University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.A. - History
Oberlin College


American Memory Debates
Colonial America
Native American History
Revolutionary America
Sexuality in American History
United States to 1877
Violence and Memory
Wisconsin Indians
Women in American History