Brett Goodin Assistant Professor


Brett Goodin


Tenure-track Assistant Professor of History



研究领域United States and the World, 1770-1870; maritime history; captivity studies; African American history.

Reconstruction to Great Migration; history of masculinity; United States social and political history 1918-1975.



 Educational Background

2011-2016    Ph.D. in American history, Australian National University.

                    Dissertation: “Opportunities of Empire: Three Barbary captives and American nation-building, 1770-1840”

2006-2009    B.A., First Class Honors, Australian National University. Majors: History, Philosophy, Political Science

 Prior Employment

2019-2021: Global Perspectives on Society Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University, Shanghai 

2019: Program in Early American Economy & Society postdoctoral fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia   

2018: Adjunct lecturer, Australian National University 

2017: John R. Bockstoce Fellow, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University 

2016-2017: Margaret Henry Dabney Penick Resident Scholar, postdoctoral fellow, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 


Brett Goodin researches the United States in the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His first book, From Captives to Consuls (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020) is a collective biography that explores the lives of three American sailors who were held as white slaves in the North African “Barbary States.” It won the the North American Society for Oceanic History's John Lyman Book Award in the category of Naval and Maritime Biography and Autobiography. The book is a study of the predominant type of self-made men in the early American republic, who typically moved sideways rather than upward, and influenced and reflected American nation-building and evolving concepts of liberty, masculinity and nationhood in the early republic through the Jacksonian era. He is now working on a new book project, Conflict, Commerce and Self-discovery: American sailors and the Asia-Pacific, 1784-1914, about the role of American sailors in the Asia-Pacific and how they leveraged their experiences to shape domestic developments in science, culture and politics within the U.S.

 Prior to joining ShanghaiTech, Dr. Goodin taught at New York University in Shanghai, and the Australian National University. He has also held postdoctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, in addition to the Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania. His research has also been supported by fellowships from the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, the American Philosophical Society, the International Center of Jefferson Studies at Monticello, the Huntington Library, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


From Captives to Consuls: Three Sailors in Barbary and Their Self-Making Across the Early American Republic, 1770-1840 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020)  

“Two Barbary Captives: Allegiance Through Self-Interest and International Networks, 1785-1796,”Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,Vol. 45, No. 1 (2021)

 “Business, Personality and Discretionary Power of American Consuls in North Africa, 1797-1805,” Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 80, No. 4 (December 2017) 

“Negotiating Liberty: The Use of Political Opportunities and Civil Society by Barbary State Captives and Guantánamo Bay Detainees,” coauthored with Cynthia Banham, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 62, No. 2 (June 2016) 

“African American Education Facilitating Migration, 1865-1920,”Melbourne Historical Journal, vol. 42 (2014)