faculty + staff

Dr. Jason Barrett
Department Chair

Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication

Lawrence Technological University
248.204.3520 p
248.204.3518 f

Dr. Jason Barrett

Background + Expertise


Recipient of Mellon Doctoral-Candidacy and Dissertation fellowships, research fellowships from the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, VA) and the Huntington Library (San Marion, CA).  Dissertation: "The Market's Virtue: Law and Political Economy in Jeffersonian Virginia".  My work examines the origins of American "liberalism" - the union of democracy and capitalism in the nation's Founding. I am specifically interested in the ways in which American law and courts adapted to / helped impose a new paradigm for property rights, contracts, capitalization, corporations etc. in response to the ideology of the American Revolution and Federal Constitution; and further how those values regarding consent, rights, equality etc. became suffused in early national culture: in religious practice, race relations, political culture, kinship structures and so on.  I am currently revising my dissertation manuscript for publication.


1993:   History B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1994:   History M.A., University of Virginia, Charlottesville
2006:   History Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor  

Honors, Award, and Memberships

1998:   Mellon Doctoral Candidacy Fellowship
            Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond VA
            Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan

1999:   Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
            Keck Foundation Research Fellowship,  Huntington Library, San Marino CA

2000:   Dissertation Writing Grant, Department of History, University of Michigan

2001:   Dissertation Writing Grant, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan

2006:   Distinguished Dissertation Award, Department of History, University of Michigan
            Distinguished Dissertation Award, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan

2010:   Richard Marburger Faculty Member of the Year Award, Lawrence Technological University       


“’Merely a Party Conflict’: The Loyalist Histories of the American Revolution,” M.A. Thesis, University of Virginia, 1994

Erving v. Craddock: The Politics of Patronage, Boston, 1760-1762,” paper presented at Cornell University, The Politics of Culture / The Culture of Politics, Nov. 15, 1997.

“Eli Whitney,”  in Makers of Western Culture, 1800-1914: A Biographical Dictionary of Literary Influences, Derek Blakely and John Powell, eds., (Greenwood Press, 1999), pp.242-3.

“England in the Reformation,” in Religious Reform in Europe (Marshall & Cavendish, NY, 1999), pp.80-94.

“The Law of Clientage: Civil Litigation and Debt Culture in Colonial Virginia,” paper presented at the 2001 American Society for Legal History conference, Nov. 8-11, 2001 

The Market’s Virtue: Law and Political Economy in Jeffersonian Virginia; Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties, 1740-1830,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan, 2006

“’As tho’ touched by a magic wand, our slaves will become freemen’: The Promise and Failure of Grain Husbandry in Jeffersonian Virginia,” paper presented at the 2007 Great Lakes History Conference, Oct. 26-27, 2007

“Honor and Race in the Movement for Manhood Suffrage and the 1829 Virginia Constitutional Convention,” paper presented at the American Society for Legal History 2008 Conference, Nov. 13-15, 2008

“Writing Assessment in the Humanities: Methodology and Culture,” Journal of Assessment 1(Fall 2010), 42-70.

“The Politics of Production in Jeffersonian Virginia,” paper presented at the 2011 American Labor History Association conference, Oct. 20-21, 2011.   

Courses Taught

SSC2413: Foundations of the American Experience            

SSC2423: Development of the American Experience

SSC3143: American Political Tradition                     

SSC3153: U.S. History to 1877

SSC3163: U.S. History from 1877

SSC3183: American Intellectual Tradition                            

SSC3723: Ethics

SSC4133: Problems in International Politics             

SSC4173: American Constitutional Law

Quest and Other Student Projects

Quest Advisor, “Open Mic Night”

Advisor, Disc Golf Club



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