John M. Dixon

Associate Professor

John Dixon is a historian of early America and the early modern Atlantic world. His research interests include intellectual and cultural history, the Enlightenment, New York history, and American Jewish history. 

A former associate editor of the Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers, Professor Dixon received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2007 and joined the faculty of the College of Staten Island in 2009. He regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of America before 1865, the history of New York, American thought and culture, historical methods, and historiography. In addition, he coordinates CSI’s History MA and Public History programs.

Professor Dixon is the author of The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden (Cornell University Press, 2016), a prize-winning book that recreates the social, political, and intellectual worlds of an eighteenth-century statesman and scientist who claimed to have discovered the cause of gravity and who also became one of the most hated political figures in pre-Revolutionary New York. 

His current research explores the history of the early modern Atlantic world through the experience of Jews, crypto-Jews, and conversos. This book project has been supported by a Senior Research Scholarship at the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History, New York University.

Last updated: 8/27/2018



Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., University of East Anglia, England

B.A., University of Birmingham, England

Scholarship and Publications

“The Enlightenment and America,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, published online July 2016,

The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York (Cornell University Press, due 2016).  

  •  Winner of the New York Academy of History's Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship, 2016.

“Henry F. May and the Revival of the American Enlightenment: Problems and Possibilities for Intellectual and Social History,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 71, no. 2, April 2014, pp. 255–80.

“Between Script and Specie: Cadwallader Colden’s Printing Method and the Production of Permanent, Correct Knowledge,” Early American Studies 8, no.1, Winter 2010, pp. 75–93.


Contact Information

Office: Building 2N Room 208
Fax: 718.982.2864