Derek K. O'Leary

PhD Candidate

North America

I work, broadly speaking, on the early United States and the World and Atlantic History. My dissertation deals with the construction of historical narratives, archives, and Romantic historiography in the early US. I also co-organize our Interdisciplinary Working Group on the Early US, which brings together graduate students and faculty in sundry departments to present and engage with new research. I completed a Master's in International Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and my BA at Amherst College.

My research has been supported by the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Omohundro Institute, Harvard's Houghton Library, the American Association of Netherlandic Studies, the Orde van den Prince, the UC Berkeley Center for British Studies, UC Berkeley's Institute of European Studies, Irish Studies Program, the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and Foreign Language and Areas Studies program.


June 2018 International Conference on Netherland Studies presentation, "Contesting the Dutch Archive"

April 2018 UC Berkeley Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Early US, presentation: "Archaeology of Early US Archives"

January 2018 UC Berkeley Graduate Symposium, "Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Hemispheric Imaginaries"

January 2018 Massachusetts Historical Society talk, "Excavating the Ancient Indian Mound, Building the Archive"

October 2017 CU Boulder, Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference, presentation: "Re-visiting the Western Indian Mounds and the Emergence of the American Social Sciences"

May 2017 Spanish National Research Council, Institute of History, International Conference on "Representations of External Threats in History", presentation: "Jared Sparks and the American Archive"

October 2015 McNeil Center (UPenn) graduate conference, "The Early US Consular Service"

March 2014 American Association for Baltic and Scandinavian Studies (Yale), Arctic Ecologies panel, "Svalbard, human coast?"


2018 "Romantic Science and Arctic Imaginaries," in MASKS, vol. 2 (Harvard Graduate School of Design)

2018 "Public and National Imagination of the Arctic," in Eurasia's Maritime Rise and Global Security (Palgrave)

2018 "Jared Sparks, American Archive" in Representations of External Threats in History (Brill)

May 2018 "Repatriating the American Archive in the Antebellum U.S.," Archival History News

February 2018 "Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, New England, and Hemipheric Visions," Journal of the History of Ideas Blog

January 2018 "Life and Likeness at the Portland Museum of Art" (interview with curator Diana Greenwold), JHI Blog

November 2017 "Excavating the Western Indian Mounds," Journal of the History of Ideas Blog

August 2017 "On the Pinkster King and the King of the Kongo" (interview with Professor Jeroen Dewulf) JHI Blog

July 2017 "Hugh Swinton Legare and the Transatlantic Letters of US Diplomacy," Journal of the History of Ideas Blog

January 2017 "Jared Sparks' American Archive," Journal of the History of Ideas Blog

October 2014 "Commercial Arctic shipping through the Northeast Passage," Polar Geography, 37: 4, co-author