Susan Gaunt Stearns is a historian of the early American West. Her work focuses on bringing the west into the larger story of national and international history.


I earned my PhD in history from the University of Chicago in 2011. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University, my work focuses on situating the events surrounding the American Revolution and the American founding in a broad continental and global context. I also teach courses on the history of the American frontier, American Indian history, and the political economy of the early republic. 

My primary research interest is in early American political economy, particularly the role that land and landownership played in the development of American ideas about republicanism and about wealth. 

I am deeply interested in pedagogy, particularly in the possibilities that technology offers to the humanities classroom. In addition to the courses I teach for the Center for Legal Studies, I teach seminars on course design, online teaching, teaching with technology, and teaching writing at Northwestern's Searle Center for Teaching and Learning. These classes are attended primarily by graduate students interested in obtaining a certificate in pedagogy.

Susan Gaunt Stearns CV