Professor Zabin is a historian of early America and the early modern Atlantic world. Her current book project is a new interpretation of the 1770 Boston Massacre that shows the intimate connections between soldiers, their families, and Bostonians during the years immediately preceding the Revolutionary War. She has involved a number of students in her research on Boston, especially in the creation of an interactive digital map of revolutionary Boston. The work for her book has been supported by numerous outside fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice) and the American Council of Learned Societies. Both this project and her previous work on New York grew out of her first-year seminar entitled “Trials in Early America.” Professor Zabin’s first monograph, Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in British New York, and its related volume for the classroom, The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741 use a suspected slave conspiracy in New York City to show the ways that commerce undermined the simple divisions of black and white or enslaved and free that are often associated with early America.
Professor Zabin’s courses expanded the offerings of the history department in many directions. The heart of her teaching is courses on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America, especially the American Revolution. Most recently, Professor Zabin has also begun teaching digital history and public history, including an academic civic engagement partnership with the Northfield Middle School social studies teachers. Professor Zabin has also developed courses in the early modern Atlantic world, early American legal history, and American Studies.