Primarily an Early American historian, I also have subsidiary interests in the African-American experience, the early Caribbean, and the study of the early Atlantic world.
My primary research focus at present is early Caribbean history, set within a broad Atlantic context.
I co-admit graduate students working in a wide range of areas related to early Atlantic history.
I pay great attention to literary style and edit the work of students closely.
Some of the prizes I have won include:
- Association of Caribbean Historians Best Article Prize (1995-1997)
- American Historical Association, Albert J. Beveridge Award and Wesley-Logan Prize (1988)
- Columbia University, Bancroft Prize (1999)
- Organization of American Historians, Elliott Rudwick Prize (1999)
- Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Yale University, Frederick Douglass Prize (1999)
- Southern Historical Association, Frank L. and Harriet C. Owsley Prize (1999)
- American Philosophical Society, Jacques Barzun Prize (1999)
- Georgia Historical Society, Malcolm Bell, Jr., and Muriel Barrow Bell Award (2011)