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Serena Zabin

Chair of the history department, Carleton College

Serena Zabin is a Professor of History at Carleton College; she is also immediate past President of the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. Professor Zabin is the author, most recently, of the prizewinning The Boston Massacre: A Family History (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020), which was also named an Amazon Editor’s Choice for History in 2020. The research for this book covers four countries and was supported by numerous grants, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice) and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Professor Zabin has also written two other books about early America: Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741: Daniel Horsmanden’s Journal of the Proceedings (Bedford St. Martins, 2004). She is currently co-editing a new collection of essays Underrepresented Voices of the American Revolution.

Professor Zabin regularly speaks with museums, cultural institutions, and libraries about her work on the American Revolution, as well as serving on scholar’s advisory boards for Revolutionary Spaces and the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston) and the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia).

Professor Zabin is also the codesigner of a video game, Witness to the Revolution currently under development. This immersive three-dimensional video game is an extension of her book The Boston Massacre: A Family History.

Her most recent essays include “Towards a More Perfect Union,” opening essay for Building a More Perfect Union: Teaching the American Revolution and Beyond (National Endowment for the Humanities and National History Day, 2021); “Women and the Long American Revolution,” in The Companion to American Women’s History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), and “Empire and Protest,” in The Cambridge History of the American Revolution (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

Professor Zabin received a BA in Classics from Bowdoin College and an MA in Latin from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She earned her PhD in history at Rutgers University in 2000 and joined the faculty of the history department at Carleton that same year. Her other administrative experience includes chairing the Carleton history department (2020-2023), directing the Carleton program in American Studies (2017-2020) and serving as the Broom Fellow for Public Scholarship (2019-2022).