Christopher Allison

Collegiate Assistant Professor, Humanities
Core: Reading Cultures

Gates-Blake 309

Christopher Allison works at the intersection of early American history, material culture, and religious studies.  His current research is focused on role of relics in American Protestant communities.  His book manuscript, Protestant Relics: Capturing the Sacred Body in Early America, 1750-1877 is a study of escalating material devotion towards the bodies of vaunted Protestant people in America and beyond.  His previous work has taken up the history of credit reporting, early American black abolitionism, transatlantic intellectual exchange, gender and conversion in early American urban spaces, and the role of memory in the American reckoning with slavery.  He is also interested in innovative historical methods of analysis and teaching, from the use of GIS technology to map the past, to using objects as historical evidence in the classroom.  He has spent most of his life divided between the United States, Canada, Germany, and Albania.


Allison received his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization at Harvard in 2017, and received his masters from Yale in 2010. He has recently published on relics found at Jamestown (here), and has a forthcoming essay on portraiture and history in the 50th Anniversary book for the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian.  He has received fellowships from the Center for American Political Studies and the Warren Center for American History at Harvard, the American Antiquarian Society, and Yale University. He is an award-winning teacher, most recently awarded the ABLConnect Teaching Innovator Prize for active-learning lesson design.