Matthew Raffety

Professor, History

Matthew Raffety


Ph.D., Columbia University, 2003

M.Phil., Columbia University, 1998; M.A., Columbia University, 1997

B.A., Williams College, History, 1994


Gannett Center
Office #2
P: 909.748.8612

Academic Interests and Areas of Expertise

  • Antebellum U.S.

  • Maritime

  • Legal

  • Gender

  • Sports History

Professional Background

Raffety earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2003. A historian of the Early American Republic, his research and publishing interests include legal, gender, and maritime history, and questions of citizenship. His book project, The Republic Afloat, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. His teaching focuses on Colonial America and the Early US, as well as Public History and American Sports History. Prior to coming to Redlands, he taught at Gonzaga University and Knox College.


Courses Taught

HIST 121: American Civilizations I

HIST 260: History of Sports in US

HIST 321: US in Era of Civil War/Reconstruction

HIST 360: US in Era of Jefferson/Jackson


Previous Teaching Experience

Visiting Instructor, Williams College, 2002

Visiting Assistant Professor, Knox College, 2003-2005

Assistant Professor, Gonzaga University, 2005-2008

Professional Experience

Guide, historical walking tours of New York (Big Onion Tours), 2000-2003

Researcher, Jersey City Historical Project (1997-1999)

Freelance Historical Researcher (1999-2004)


"The Early Career of Frank Hague," New Jersey History 124/1 (009): 29-56.

"Recent Currents in the Nineteenth-Century American Maritime History," History Compass 6/2 (2008): 607–626.

"Discipline but Not Punish: Legality and Labor Control at Sea, 1790-1861," chapter in Pirates, Jack Tar, and Memory: New Directions in Atlantic Maritime History, Bill Pencak and Paul Gilje, eds. (Mystic: Mystic Seaport Press, 2008).

"Proper Historical Analogies to Iraq Are Difficult," Gonzaga Bulletin, 20 October, 2006.

"A Sea of Rebellion: Maritime Workers in the Age of the American Revolution," chapter in Social Perspectives on the American Revolution, Andrew K. Frank, ed., (New York: ABC-Clio, 2007).

Awards, Honors, Grants

Diversity Grant in support of new courses that fulfill the College's Social Justice Requirement, Gonzaga University, 2006

Research Council Grant, Gonzaga university, 2006

Sigety Family Fellow, American Antiquarian Society, 2001

G.S.A.S. Summer research Fellow, Columbia University, 2001

Littleton-Griswold Prize, American Historical Association, 2001

Metzger Prize, Columbia University, 2001

President's Teaching Fellow, Columbia University, 1999-2000

Invited Presentations

"‘I Fell in with a Woman, Who I Thought Was All Virtue': Sex and Violence in Antebellum Seafarers' Confessions," AHA Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, 2010.

"Contra Mundum VI: The Enemy of All Mankind: Pirates, Piracy and the Autonomy of the High Seas," Contra Mundum Lecture Series, Los Angeles, CA, 2009.

"Presidents and Presidents' Day," radio interview on "KXLY 920 Newsscope with Mike Fitzsimmons," KXLY, Spokane, WA, 2009.

"Poli-Tees: the History of Political Merchandise," on-air commentator,, Los Angeles, CA 2009.

"When I get you to the United States I'll make you pay: Litigious Mariners and American Identity, 1835-1861," to be delivered at the 5th International Congress of Maritime History, Greenwich, UK, 2008.

Commenter and chair, two panels, Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, 2008.

Commenter and chair, two panels, Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference, Lincoln City, Oregon, 2007.

Participant, "Maritime Mastery and Mobility," roundtable discussion at the SHEAR annual conference, Montreal, Quebec, 2006.

"‘On the Whole He Leads a Puppyish Life Indeed:' Violence and Masculinity among Ships' Officers" delivered at the OAH Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, 2005.

"‘I Am a Man the Same as You:' Manhood, Honor, and Violence at Sea before the Civil War," delivered at the OAH Annual Conference, Memphis, Tennessee, 2003.

"The Dreaded Pirates Gibbs and Wansley," delivered at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York, 2003.

"‘When We Get to New York, I Will Have My Rights:' the Dissemination of Legal Knowledge at Sea, 1789-1861," delivered at the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2002.

"Labor and the Language of Rights in Mutinies on Nineteenth Century New York Merchant Vessels," delivered at "Drawn from the Deep: Mariners' Rights Symposium," South Street Seaport Museum, New York, New York, 1998.


Phi Alpha Theta

SHEAR (Society for History of the Early American Republic)

American Historical Association

Organization of American Historians

Matthew Raffety is the Faculty Sponsor for Phi Alpha Theta