514-848-2424 ex. 5903
HIST 201/2 Section X:
Introduction to European to 1799
HIST 437L/2 Section A:
Progress and History in the Enlightenment
(cross-listed with HIST 610N/810N)
Sabbatical - 1 January 2013 - 30 June 2013
B.A. University of Maryland, College Park; M.A., M. Phil., Ph.D. Columbia University
Dr. McCormick received his Ph.D. in early modern European history from Columbia University in 2005. He was a 2006-2008 Government of Ireland Fellow at the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, and a 2010-2011 Mellon Fellow at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. His first book, William Petty and the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic (Oxford University Press, 2009), was awarded the 2010 John Ben Snow Foundation Prize by the North American Conference on British Studies, and his work has been featured in Pour la Science and The London Review of Books. In 2010, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He will be a Visiting Fellow at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, the University of Sydney, in early 2013.
His main research focuses on the connections between early social science, social engineering, natural philosophy and religion in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, Ireland, and the Atlantic. His current book project, funded by the SSHRC, is a history of ideas about population in Britain and the British world during the long eighteenth century. It focuses on the ways political arithmetic – an early form of quantitative demographic analysis with roots in Baconian natural philosophy – both drew on and reshaped thinking about divine Providence, sacred and global history, the order of nature, and the limits of human agency, from the work of John Graunt and William Petty in the 1660s to that of T.R. Malthus and others in the 1790s. Other works in progress or forthcoming include an article for History of Science examining the imperial and natural-historical purposes of quantification in late-seventeenth-century scientific queries for travelers, focusing on questions relating to population and environmental “salubrity” (forthcoming); a book chapter tracing changes in discussions of population in English economic writing from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth century; and a chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History (ed. Alvin Jackson) on Ireland during the Stuart Restoration (1660-1688).
Dr. McCormick is interested in working with graduate students on topics in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British and Irish history, early modern intellectual history, and early modern history of science.
William Petty and the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
"Political Arithmetic and Sacred History: Population Thought in the English Enlightenment, 1660-1750", Journal of British Studies (forthcoming).
"Governing Model Populations: Queries, Quantifications, and William Petty's 'Scale of Salubrity'", History of Science (forthcoming).
“‘A Proportionable Mixture’: Sir William Petty, Political Arithmetic, and the Transmutation of the Irish,” in Restoration Ireland: Always Settling and Never Settled, edited by Coleman Dennehy (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), pp. 123-139.
“Transmutation, Inclusion, and Exclusion: Political Arithmetic from Charles II to William III,” in Journal of Historical Sociology, 20:3 (September 2007), pp. 259-278.
“Alchemy in the Political Arithmetic of Sir William Petty (1623-1687),” in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 37:2 (June 2006), pp. 290-307.
16 March 2012: “Providence, Nature, and the Government of Populations: Or, What Political Arithmetic Really Was”, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture conference: “The ‘Political Arithmetick’ of Empires in the Early Modern Atlantic World, 1500-1807”, University of Maryland, College Park
23-24 June 2012: Co-organizing (with Vera Keller, Clark Honors College, University of Oregon) The New World of Projects, annual conference of the University of Southern California-Huntington Library Early Modern Studies Institute, San Marino, CA
22-25 August 2012: “Alchemy into Economy: Material Transmutation and the Conceptualization of Utility in Gabriel Plattes (c.1600-1644) and William Petty (1623-1687)”, “Eigennutz” und gute Ordnung”. Ökonomisierungen der Welt im 17. Jahrhundert”, Kongress des Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreises für Barockforschung, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel
10 November 2012: "Political Arithmetic and Sacred History: A Hidden Strand of Enlightenment Demographic Thought", North American Conference on British Studies annual meeting, Montreal.