Asaf Almog

Field & Specialties

Early American History (to 1877)
Atlantic History
Early Modern European Intellectual History
American Conservatism


Asaf Almog is a doctoral candidate, working with Gary W. Gallagher and Elizabeth R. Varon. Born and raised in Israel, Asaf is interested in the rise of liberal political culture in the Anglo-American world. His M.A. thesis at Tel Aviv University examined Thomas Hobbes’s liberalism and its influence on Revolutionary America. His M.A. thesis at the University of Virginia examined Massachusetts Federalist Timothy Pickering’s views on race and slavery.

Current Research

Asaf’s dissertation, titled “Looking Backward in a New Republic: Conservative New Englanders and American Nationalism, 1793-1848,” examines the evolution of political conservatism among New England’s Unitarian elite, and its role in the construction of American nationalism. The dissertation focuses on members of the so-called “Brahmin caste of New England,” a self-conscious elite, all Harvard-affiliated, who maintained an inner “republic of letters” throughout the early republic and the antebellum era. Moving chronologically from the establishment of the Federalist Party to 1861, Asaf juxtaposes the tradition of “conservative reform” against rival traditions, which supported various egalitarian interpretations of the American Revolution’s legacy. The dissertation examines how the converging understandings of conservatism and reform influenced the political culture of New England’s elite and of the American Republic at large. Ultimately, the dissertation illuminates the complexities of the American Revolution’s legacy of liberty and equality before the Civil War.

Courses Taught

Independent instructor, University of Virginia:

“American History to 1865” (Summer 2017)

Teaching Assistant, University of Virginia:

“The Rise and Fall of the Slave South” (Spring 2017)

“The Coming of the American Civil War” (Fall 2016)

“The History of the United States from 1865 to the Present” (Spring 2016)

“Genocide” (Fall 2015)

“The American Revolution” (Spring 2015)

“The Colonial Period in American History” (Fall 2014)