On November 12, 2021, Andrew Lipman, associate professor of history, published a chapter in the new book The Cambridge History of America and the World: Volume 1, 1500-1820. The chapter, titled “Maritime Borderlands,” examines indigenous Americans’ encounters with Europeans on beaches, islands, and on water.
Professor Lipman shows that as America was colonized, saltwater areas became highly profitable and contested, which runs contrary to common assumptions about where borderlands and frontiers take shape. Additionally, he reveals how these areas are a distinct category of contested spaces that do not abide by the same rules as terrestrial spaces. Throughout the chapter, Lipman focuses on two coastal American regions from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries that faced economic, political, and cultural changes connected to the underlying ecological dynamism of shorelines.