The ‘Society of Colonial Wars’ Funds New Historical Research in Partnership with FAU’s Department of History

Monday, Oct 18, 2021
(detail) Illustration from John Carter Brown Library

Image Above: (detail) Illustration from John Carter Brown Library

Florida Atlantic University’s Department of History in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters recently announced a new five-year partnership with the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Florida to honor the legacy of a beloved member of the organization.

The ‘Society of Colonial Wars Fellowship in Memory of Kenneth R. LaVoy Jr.’ will fund the research of scholars who are writing the newest important books on the history of the American colonial period (1565-1775). FAU’s Department of History will administer the $25,000 gift over four years.

The primary recipients will be scholars who are completing books that will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, a leader in the field whose works regularly win national awards. An additional distinguished recipient, to be announced in 2022, will be a senior military historian. The fellowship also supports the research of FAU’s scholars of the colonial period in America.

“This generous gift will make a lasting impact through important publications,” said Jason Sharples, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of History with expertise in colonial American history. He is the current administrator of the fellowship.

To celebrate the program’s launch, FAU will hold a series of three events at which the inaugural recipients will give presentations that preview their books for the public.

Misha Ewen, Ph.D., Curator and Historian at Historical Royal Palaces (UK), will share insights from her forthcoming book on the English women who made financial investments that funded the colonization of Jamestown, Virginia. The Zoom webinar will occur at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Adrian Finucane, Ph.D., associate professor in FAU’s Department of History, will explain the research behind her book-in-progress, Captive Exchanges: Prisoners of War and the Trade in Secrets, 1700-1760, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at the S. E. Wimberly Library.

Nicholas Wood, Ph.D., assistant professor at Spring Hill College, will highlight his research on American colonists who opposed slavery in the lecture “Colonial Wars as the ‘Wrath of God’: The Origins of American Antislavery.” His event will occur at the Wimberly Library on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

The public events are made possible with additional support from the FAU Libraries, home to the Marvin and Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection of rare books from colonial America.

“The work of scholars supported by this fellowship highlights that America’s foundation began well over 150 years earlier than the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution,” said Sharples.

“It is more important than ever that we help people understand the colonial period,” observed Kemp Stickney, a member of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Florida. Added Sharples, “We still have many lessons to learn from the colonial era’s complex history. Funding new research and delivering it to the public is indispensable.”

For more information about the LaVoy Fellowship, visit