Alexander Cors

Alexander Cors


BA in History/ Geography, University of Augsburg (Germany), 2014
MA in Historical Sciences, University of Augsburg, 2016
MA in Interdisciplinary European Studies, University of Augsburg, 2017

Research Interests

Early North America
Indigenous History
Legal History
Cartography & GIS

Dissertation Topic

"Newcomers and New Borders: Migration, Property Formation, and Conflict over land along the Mississippi River, 1750-1820 "

Faculty Advisors

Yanna Yannakakis
Jeffrey Lesser


My dissertation argues that the dispossession of Indigenous peoples’ collective landholdings and the expansion of plantations made profitable by enslaved labor are inextricably connected processes. My project posits the central role and entangled histories of both Native dispossession and the expansion of slavery through the lens of land ownership.

In my work, I show how the center of North American continent was transformed from Indigenous territory to a region covered with plantations and farms. The goal of my research is to explain how ordinary people on the ground experienced, adapted to, or undermined these transformations. My dissertation offers a multi-perspective bottom-up narrative of a transformative period at the center of the North American continent by centering the lived experience of members of Houma, Pekowi and Kishpoko Shawnee, and Cherokee migrants, Spanish officials, free people of color, French-Canadian and Anglo-American immigrants, and enslaved Senegambian and Congolese peoples. To that end, I combine sources from French, Spanish, Mexican, U.S.-American archives as well as Indigenous oral history traditions and geo-spatial information.

My research has been generously supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Mellon Foundation, the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Historic New Orleans Collection, the American Society for Legal History, the Jones Program in Ethics, and the Department of History’s Cuttino and Matthews Scholarships.

You can read more about my research and digital humanities projects at