Peter H. Wood

Professor Emeritus of History

External address: 
208 Carr Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 684-3694


I have always been interested in early American history and in the interactions of diverse cultures. My undergraduate honors paper at Harvard in 1964 dealt with the Puritans' relations with the Indians, and my doctoral thesis there focused on African Americans in South Carolina before 1740. Since coming to Duke in 1975, I have taught Colonial American History and Native American History, as well as a course on the History of Documentary Film. Long term interests in race relations and in American painting led me to collaborate with art historian Karen Dalton in 1988 on an exhibition and a related book concerning Winslow Homer's images of Blacks. Time spent as the department's Director of Graduate Studies (1988-95) and as one of the professors in the U.S. Survey class (History 91D) has made me increasingly interested in the ways we learn and teach American history. Perhaps for this reason, I have always been actively involved as a humanities advisor on diverse public history projects and as a board member with a variety of grassroots organizations and mainstream institutions. I am a lead author for the US survey textbook, Created Equal, which is now in its second edition.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1972

  • B.A., University of Oxford (UK) 1966

  • B.A., Harvard University 1964

Selected Grants

(93-0981) Support to Purchase Films Made in 19 Countries from 1895-1905 for the Lumiere Cinematographe awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1993 to 1994