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Craig Yirush


Associate Professor


Contact Information

Email    YIRUSH@HISTORY.UCLA.EDU
Office  5270 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-825-3078

I am an historian of Anglo-American politcal and legal thought. My first book, Settlers, Liberty, and Empire (Cambridge, 2011) explored the colonial origins of American political theory with a focus on the role that arguments for dispossession played in the colonists' case for autonomy in the empire (and, ultimately, for independence).

I am currently working on a book, tentatively titled Chief Princes and Owners of All, on how indigenous people used law to resist settler colonialism in the Anglo-American world from contact to the early twentieth-century. Parts of this project have been publised in Law and History Review; Native Claims: Indigenous Law Against Empire; and Justice in a New World: Negotiating Legal Intelligibility in British, Iberian, and Indigenous America.

I am also the co-editor (with Jack Greene) of the three volume Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution (Liberty Fund, 2018), which won an award for ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ from Choice magazine in 2019.

At UCLA, I offer lecture courses on the American colonies and the American Revolution, as well as graduate and undergraduate seminars  on a variety of aspects of the early modern Atlantic world, from constitutionalism, to indigenous rights, to Loyalism, to the historiography of the American Revolution.  

Degrees

B.A. (1990) and M.A. (1994) in history from the University of British Columbia. M.Phil. in Political Thought and Intellectual History from Cambridge University (1995). PhD Johns Hopkins University (2003).

Selected Publications

Settlers, Liberty, and Empire: The Roots of Early American Political Theory, 1675-1775 (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution. Edited with an introduction by Jack P. Greene and Craig Yirush. Three volumes (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2018).

“ ‘Since We Came Out of this Ground’ ”: Iroquois Legal Arguments at the Treaty of Lancaster,” in Brian P. Owensby and Richard J. Ross, eds., Justice in a New World: Negotiating Legal Intelligibility in British, Iberian, and Indigenous America (New York: New York University Press, 2018), 118-150.
 
“Bailyn, the Republican Interpretation, and the Future of Revolutionary Scholarship,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 50 (2017), 321-325.
 
“The Imperial Crisis,” in Edward Gray and Jane Kamensky, eds., The Oxford Companion to the American Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2012), 85-102.
 
“The Idea of Rights in the Imperial Crisis,” Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (2012); reprinted in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., and Jeffrey Paul, eds., Natural Rights Individualism and Progressivism in American Political Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 82-103.
 
“Claiming the New World; Empire, Law and Indigenous Rights in the Mohegan Case, 1704-1743,” Law and History Review 29 (2011), 333-373.
 
“ ‘Chief Princes and Owners of All’: Native American Appeals to the Crown in the Early Modern British Atlantic,” in Saliha Belmessous, ed., Native Claims: Indigenous Law Against Empire, 1500-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2011), 129-151.

Current Courses by Term

2020 Fall Quarter

Colonial America, 1600 to 1763

Variable Topics Historiography Proseminar: U.S.

Introduction to U.S. History: Colonial Period