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A prize for Rushforth's book, TV exposure for his class

It’s been an incredible week for Brett Rushforth.

On July 7, Rushforth, an associate professor of history at William & Mary, received word that his book Bonds of Alliance, has won the 2012-13 Wylie Prize in French and Francophone Cultural Studies.

In addition, C-SPAN announced that one of Rushforth’s lectures will be broadcast on the network’s American History TV (AHTV) Saturday, July 12, at 8 p.m. C-SPAN3 is available locally on Cox Cable channel 93, and will be available via livestream at

In the class, Rushforth will discuss France’s impact on North America in the early 1700s. He also details the territorial tensions between the French and Great Britain that brought the Seven Years War to North America. Rushforth’s class will be available for online viewing in its entirety on Monday, July 14, at

Bonds of Alliance was chosen from a group of 40 entries written by a scholar residing in North America and published during 2012 and 2013.Rushforth's book

“The committee members were impressed by the way you conceptualize  slavery in the French Atlantic in a compelling, new way by bringing together the highest caliber of research on early modern indigenous culture in North America with that of  New & Ancien Régime France,” wrote Helen Solterer, a professor and director of romance studies for the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Duke University. “Your use of linguistic, archaeological and social historical evidence makes your book stand out as a model of interdisciplinary research that speaks to scholars in different fields. And your method of mobilizing such diverse materials becomes the ground for a remarkable narrative that is so well written it is hard to put down.

“One committee member said: ‘This is a book that Laurence Wylie would have loved.’”

Rushforth will be presented with the prize during a ceremony at Duke this fall.

At W&M, Rushforth works with doctoral students in the French Atlantic world (North America and the Caribbean), comparative slavery, American Indians before 1800 and North American colonial history before 1800. He also co-hosts – with Christopher Grasso, Paul Mapp and Karin Wulf – the department’s graduate reading group in early American history.