Faculty in the Department of History

Claire Rydell Arcenas

Claire Rydell Arcenas

Assistant Professor of History

Office: LA 261
Email: claire.arcenas@umontana.edu
Office Hours:

Summer 2018

By appointment.

Personal Summary

Claire Rydell Arcenas is an American historian. She has particular interests in transatlantic intellectual, cultural, and political exchange between the late seventeenth and the mid twentieth centuries. Professor Arcenas teaches courses on a range of topics in American history and historical methodology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her current book project investigates the influence of the seventeenth-century English philosopher, John Locke, in America from before the American Revolution through the Civil Rights Movement. Her other ongoing research projects include Benjamin Franklin and the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters; the relationship between political theory and practice in early America; and a transatlantic history of Utilitarianism.

For Undergraduate Students:

Are you considering majoring or minoring in history at UM? Love history, but don’t know what you’d do with a degree in it? Curious about where your undergraduate degree in history can take you? I am always excited to meet with students in office hours to talk about questions like these! Please feel free to stop by my office or set up an appointment via e-mail. In the meantime, for some inspiration about what you might do with your history degree, you may find this recent article in the Harvard Business Review interesting: https://hbr.org/2017/07/liberal-arts-in-the-data-age

For Graduate Students:

I currently advise MA and PhD students whose projects explore topics related to American political, intellectual, and cultural history across a broad chronology. I am also interested in advising students working on projects in early American history and the history of the early modern Atlantic world. If you are interested in pursuing an MA or PhD in American History at UM and have questions for me, please contact me via e-mail. 

For AY 2017-2018, I am the Graduate Program Internship Coordinator. If you are thinking about graduate studies at UM and curious about what internship possibilities are available, or if you’re considering a career in public history, please feel free to get in touch via e-mail.

Field of Study

Early American History; History of the Atlantic World; Intellectual History; History of Political Thought and Politics; Cultural History; Historiography; Digital Humanities.


BA, University of Wisconsin, Madison

MA, Stanford University

PhD, Stanford University


HSTA 101 American History I

HSTA 103 Honors American History I

HSTR 200 Introduction to Historical Methods

HSTR 300 Digital Worlds of Early America

HSTR 400 Freedom, Slavery, and Equality: Early American Perspectives

HSTA 501 Graduate Readings in Early American History