History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Randolph Scully

Randolph Scully

Randolph Scully

Associate Professor

colonial and revolutionary America, race, gender, religion, Southern history, Virginia history

Randolph Scully is a social and cultural historian of early America, with a particular focus on issues of religion, race, and gender. A graduate of Williams College, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and began teaching at George Mason the same year.

His book, Religion and the Making of Nat Turner’s Virginia: Baptist Community and Conflict, 1740-1840 (University of Virginia Press, 2008), won the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer prize for best first book on church history from the American Society of Church History in 2009. He has also published articles in the Journal of the Early Republic and Explorations in Early American Culture. He has held fellowships from the Pew Program in Religion and American History and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.

Current Research

His current research project, “The Household Politics of Antislavery in the Early American South” explores the possibilities and limits of change in the Revolutionary era by reexamining both the rhetoric and the household organization of opponents of slavery in the emerging southern states.

Selected Publications

Religion and the Making of Nat Turner’s Virginia: Baptist Community and Conflict, 1740-1840 (University of Virginia Press, 2008). Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer prize from the American Society of Church History.

 “‘I Come Here Before You Did and I Shall Not Go Away’: Race, Gender, and Evangelical Community on the Eve of the Nat Turner Rebellion,” Journal of the Early Republic 27:4 (Winter 2007): 661-684.

 “‘Somewhat Liberated’: Baptist Discourses of Race and Slavery in Nat Turner’s Virginia, 1770-1840,” Explorations in Early American Culture 5 (2001): 328-371.

Courses Taught

History 389:  Slavery and the American Founding

History 389:  War of 1812

History 391:  Virginia to 1800

History 401:  Colonial America

History 403:  Revolutionary America

History 610:  The Study and Writing of History

History 613:  Colonial America

History 615:  Religion in America to 1860

History 615:  Gender and Sexuality in Early America

History 615:  Race, Slavery, and the American Founding

History 615:  Slavery and Freedom in America

History 620:  The Early American Republic

Dissertations Supervised

Thomas Kurt Knoerl, Empire in the Hold: The British Maritime Cultural Landscape in the Western Great Lakes 1759-1796 (2012)

Jeffrey Weir, A Challenge to the Cause: Smallpox Inoculation in the Era of American Independence, 1764 to 1781 (2014)

Steven Harris-Scott, Northern Virginia, A Land Apart: Bound Labor in Virginia’s Upper Northern Neck, 1645-1710 (2016)