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Dr. Michael A. Verney grew up in the woods of western Massachusetts, where he cultivated a love for history, exploration, writing, and the natural world. Family trips to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, inculcated a love of the sea and its human and natural histories. He earned his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2008 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 2011 and 2016, respectively. Between starting college and graduating with his doctorate, he also worked at a documentary film company, a historic house museum, two Universityarchives, and a replica War of 1812-era privateer.
Dr. Verney’s research examines the global history of the early US republic with a focus on maritime expansion, encounters, and empire. His first book, A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic, was publishedby the University of Chicago Press in July 2022. It examined the global exploringexpeditions of the antebellum US Navy. His second book project is a joint analysis of Commodore Matthew Perry’s Japan Expedition and the North Pacific Exploring Expedition of 1853-1855. The North Pacific Expedition was a massive but forgotten US naval exploring expedition to East Asia that followed closely on the heels of Perry’s much more famous mission to Japan. Dr. Verney has previously published articles in the Journal of the Early Republic (fall 2013) and Diplomatic History (spring 2020).
At Drury University, Professor Verney teaches courses in early North American and United States history, including those in the history of piracy, slavery, the US Civil War, the American Revolution, African American History, and US empire. He loves to train students in critical reading, research, and writing skills. A special passion is advising students on their college and post-college careers, including those in public history. When not teaching, advising, or researching, Dr. Verney loves nothing more than hiking/traveling with his family, meditating, running, surfing/boating, and scribbling poetry and reflective prose.
Drury University faculty member since 2018
Assistant Professor since 2018