Thomas Blake Earle

Ph.D. Candidate
M.A. Rice University, 2013
B.A. University of Texas, Austin, 2011
Fields of Study: 

19th Century America

Atlantic World

United States Foreign Relations

Environmental History

Research Interests: 

My dissertation, tentativley titled "Mani-Fish Destiny: Fisheries, Diplomacy, and the Environment in the North Atlantic, 1783-1877," is an environmental-diplomatic history of the cod fisheries of the North Atlantic during the 19th century. The right of American fishermen to exploit the waters of the North Atlantic in search of their piscine prey was an important, albeit often overlooked, facet of Anglo-American relations in the decades after American independence. Fishery politics offers a window into the constantly chagning nature of transatlantic relations and does much to dispel linear or facile explanations of rapprochement across the century. While deeply concerned with politics and diplomacy this project does not focus solely upon the elite policymakers in Washington and London that often populate traditional diplomatic histories. Instead I take seriously the role played by ordinary fishermen and the fish themselves in the unfolding of Anglo-American relations.  



"Debating Cod and Questioning Union: Cod Fishermen and the Atlantic Dimensions of Sectionalism in Antebellum America," Journal of the Early Republic (forthcoming)

Presentations (selected)

"Diplomatic Fisheries: Fishermen, North Atlantic Diplomacy, and the Creation of the Convention of 1818," Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, June 25-27, 2015

"Diplomacy in the North Atlantic: Fishermen, Fisheries, and the American Nation-Building Project," American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., March 18-22, 2015

"'The Very Nurseries of our Navy': Fishermen and Fisheries in American Politics and Diplomacy," Northeast-Atlantic Canada Environmental History Forum, Prince Edward Island, Canada, August 1-2, 2014

"The Not-So-Special Relationship: The United States, Great Britain, and the Fisheries Dispute of 1852," Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, June 20-22

Awards and Fellowships (selected)

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, The Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS), 2015-2016

Robert A. and Barbara Divine Graduate Student Travel Grant, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2015

American Society for Environmental History Travel Grant funded by the National Science Foundation, 2015