Erin Stewart Mauldin, Ph.D.

historian and author

Unredeemed Land

Oxford University Press
Winner of the 2019 Wiley-Silver Prize
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Argues that ecological shifts precipitated by the Civil War shaped the economic and agricultural choices of postwar southerners



Reinterprets the political relationship of black Southerners, particularly postwar sharecroppers, with the landscape they farmed

"The best ideas often refocus our attention on what was there all along. Erin Stewart Mauldin’s Unredeemed Land is no exception." -- Matthew Stith, author of Extreme Civil War


"Beautifully written and deeply researched, Unredeemed Land is the first book to place the Civil War and emancipation at the center of the history of southern agriculture." -- Megan Kate Nelson, author of Ruin Nation

About me

An assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of South Florida (St. Petersburg campus), I am the author of Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South (Oxford, 2018), and the Co-Editor of the Companion to Global Environmental History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).


I also serve as the Book Review Editor for Agricultural History and the Co-Editor of the Environmental History and the American South book series at the University of Georgia Press.

Trained as an Environmental Historian, my work explores the intersection of race, economic inequality, and environment in the 19th-century U.S. South, bridging the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. 

I borrow heavily from the natural sciences, geography, and environmental sociology to reframe the big questions of nineteenth-century southern history: slavery as capitalism, the impacts of the Civil War and emancipation on southern agriculture, economic stagnation in the shadow of “King Cotton,” and, more recently, the twin processes of industrialization and urbanization.


Erin Stewart Mauldin, historian



Oxford University Press, 2018


Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2012


Chapters & Articles

"The Environmental History of the United States," Companion to Global Environmental History, ed. J.R. McNeill and Erin Stewart Mauldin, pp. 132-152

"The Stockman's War: Hog Cholera and the Fight to Close the Open Range in Reconstruction-Era Alabama," Alabama Review, March 2017

"Freedom, Ecological Change, and Economic Autonomy in the Cotton South, 1865-1880," Journal of the Civil War Era, September 2017

"Juicy or Dry: Investigating Culture and Climate in 'Southern' Environmental History," Reviews in American History, June 2018

"Environmental History of Reconstruction," The Oxford Handbook of Reconstruction, edited by Andrew Slap, forthcoming 2020

"Yankee Pigs: Agricultural Science and Colonial Policy in the Late Nineteenth Century," Battlefields and Homefronts, edited by Justin Nordstrom, forthcoming 2020

"Environmental History," Bloomsbury's History: Theory and Method, a digital resource edited by Q. Edward Wang, forthcoming 2020

News & Events

I recently spoke to WUSF, Tampa Bay's NPR affiliate, about Unredeemed Land.


Check out the interview with University Beat's Nicole Slaughter Graham here



All of my courses reflect the interdisciplinary methodologies I employ in my research, and my assignments frequently push students to re-evaluate what constitutes source material for historical inquiry




Tel. 727-873-4558



Department of History & Politics

140 7th Ave. S, SNL 100

(Snell House)

St. Petersburg, FL 33701




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