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Asheesh Kapur Siddique

Assistant Professor of History

(413) 545-5677

Personal Website

Herter 604

Asheesh Kapur Siddique is an assistant professor in the Department of History at UMass Amherst. He is a historian of early America, early modern Europe, and the British empire whose research and pedagogy explores the role of collecting, managing, and using knowledge to the history of state formation and governance.  

Professor Siddique’s first book, The Experience of the Archive: Knowledge and the Making of the Early Modern British Empire (under contract with Yale University Press) explores how archives came to be used as tools of governance in the British empire in both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds between the seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries. Other ongoing projects examine the history of "early American" history writing; the concept of textual "intention" in legal and political thought; and the intertwined histories of financial capitalism and American higher education.  

Professor Siddique was trained at Columbia University (PhD, 2016), the University of Oxford (MPhil, 2009), and Princeton University (AB, 2007). From 2016-2018, he was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California. From 2018-2019, he was a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Humanities & Information at Penn State University. His research has been supported by institutions such as the American Philosophical Society, the Huntington Library, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, and the Social Science Research Council. His 2020 article in the William & Mary Quarterly on archival knowledge and the development of political economy was awarded the Society for U.S. Intellectual History's 2020 Dorothy Ross Article Prize for "best article in U.S. intellectual history" by "an emerging scholar." His other scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of British StudiesEarly American Studies, the Journal of Early Modern HistoryLaw & History Review, and Modern Intellectual History. He has also written for public facing outlets such as The Daily BeastInside Higher Ed, and Teen Vogue.  

At UMass Amherst, Professor Siddique's courses cover subjects such as the American Revolution; early American thought and culture; the early modern British empire; the making of American capitalism from 1492 to the present; the early modern Atlantic world; the history of the corporation; and the history of data. 

Twitter: @AsheeshKSi

Personal website: 

Research Areas

Early America
Atlantic World
British Empire
Early Modern Europe
History of the Book / History of Media
Political History
Legal History
History of Political Thought


For a complete listing with links and DOI, please see or 

“The Ideological Origins of Written Constitutionalism,” Early American Studies, forthcoming 

“Beyond Somerset: Slavery and the Temporalities of Legal History,” Law & History Review, forthcoming 

"How Does Paper Mean?," Modern Intellectual History 18.3 (September 2021), 888-896. 

“The Archival Epistemology of Political Economy in the Early Modern British Atlantic World," William & Mary Quarterly 3rd ser., 77, no. 4 (October 2020), 641-674. 

"Governance Through Documents: The Board of Trade, Its Archive, and the Imperial Constitution of the Eighteenth Century British Atlantic,” Journal of British Studies 59.2 (April 2020), 264-290. 

"From Formal Circulation to Archival Use: The Remark Book and the Admiralty Archive in the British Empire, 1759-1819," in Maria-Pia Donato and Anne Saada (eds.), Pratiques d’archives à l’époque moderne: Europe, mondes coloniaux (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2019), 369-390. 

"Mobilizing the 'State Papers' of Empire: John Bruce, Early Modernity, and the Bureaucratic Archives of Britain," Journal of Early Modern History 22.5 (October 2018), 392-410. 

Courses Recently Taught

Undergraduate Courses:
American Thought & Culture, I: 1630-1865
The Craft of History
Early America in an Age of Revolution
The Corporation in History