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Nicholas Cunigan

Graduate Student
Primary office:


US, Environmental, and Indigenous Peoples.

Advised by Paul Kelton.

Dissertation Title: "Mercurial Relations: Climate, Culture, and Indigenous Resistance in the Dutch Atlantic."


A native-born Kentuckian, but a Michigander at heart, Nicholas Cunigan came to the University of Kansas in 2010 after serving two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Blandford Nature Center and Organic Farm in Grand Rapids, MI. With a love of nature and a B.A. in History from Calvin College, Cunigan’s research interests lay at the intersection of Environmental, Indigenous Peoples, and seventeenth century Dutch Imperial History.

Cunigan’s current research explores the relationship between indigenous populations and Dutch imperialism in the Atlantic World during the height of the Dutch Golden Age. His dissertation, “Mercurial Relations: Climate, Culture, and Indigenous Resistance in the Dutch Atlantic,” investigates the impact of climate-induced ecological changes during the Little Ice Age on indigenous resistance movements in New Netherland, Dutch Brazil, and Curacao. 

Cunigan has been a teaching assistant for numerous courses including: US War and Society, US Cultural History, Conspiracy Theory and Paranoia in American Politics, and US History through the Civil War. In the Spring of 2013 he taught an introductory course on North American Indigenous Peoples and in the Summer of 2014 the first half of the United States survey to 1877. During the 2013-2014 academic year Cunigan served as Dr. Ed Russell's research assistant. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands at the Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age

Cunigan is advised by Dr. Paul Kelton and anticipates completion of his PhD requirements by 2016.

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