Travis E. Ross

Historian of capitalism, knowledge, and the Pacific World


Photo of people looking at the rare map exhibit at the Utah State Capitol, 27 January, 2017. Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

People look at the rare map exhibit on the 4th floor of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. The maps show the steady increase of geographic knowledge about Utah. They demonstrate the political and economic interests that produced the maps, hinting at what the mapmakers and their sponsors determined was worth documenting, identifying and, in some cases, taking and possessing. (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

I have taught history at small colleges, large universities, and in public settings. I currently teach in the Department of History at Yale University, where I teach courses that will include Western US regional history as well as the history of capitalism.

I have particular regional expertise in western U.S. history, the Pacific World, Latin America, and borderlands studies.

My teaching and research interests include book history, the history of science and knowledge, U.S. intellectual history, the history capitalism, the history of history and the humanities, and the history of education in the US.

I recently worked as the project manager and research historian at the head of a team of professionals and private contributors to design an exhibit of forty rare maps (1550-1988) from several institutional and private collections around Utah. A collaborative effort between the Utah Division of State History and the Capitol Preservation Board, Utah Drawn: An Exhibition of Rare Maps was on display at the Utah State Capitol from January to November 2017 and is currently hanging at the library at Southern Utah University.

The Western History Association and Autry National Center awarded Utah Drawn the 2018 Autry Public History Prize.