Faculty in the Department of History

Claire Rydell Arcenas

Claire Rydell Arcenas

Assistant Professor of History; Director of Undergraduate Studies

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

Spring 2021, via Zoom!

Please e-mail me for an 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. Her current book project, Locke in America (under contract with the University of Chicago Press), investigates the influence of the seventeenth-century English philosopher John Locke on American thought and culture over the last three hundred years. Her current research is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the Huntington Library, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford. Other research interests of hers include the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters; the relationship between political theory and practice in early America; and the transatlantic history of utilitarianism.

At the University of Montana, Professor Arcenas teaches courses on a range of topics in American history and historical methodology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She also advises MA and PhD students whose projects explore topics related to American political, intellectual, and cultural history across a broad chronology. If you are interested in graduate studies in history at UM, please contact her via e-mail.

Field of Study

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


BA, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2010
MA, Stanford University, 2013
PhD, Stanford University, 2016


HSTA 101 American History I
HSTA 103 Honors American History I
HSTR 200 Introduction to Historical Methods
HSTA 275 Making History Public

HSTA 391 Digital Worlds of Early America [Intermediate Writing Course]
HSTR 400 Freedom, Slavery, and Equality
HSTA 501 Graduate Readings in Early American History