Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
History | Lawrence B. A. Hatter







Associate Professor of History
Graduate Studies Director
Wilson-Short Hall 323



Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2011.

Academic & Professional Interests

Dr. Hatter is a diplomatic and legal historian of the early United States and Canada.

Research Interests

Dr. Hatter’s research speaks to questions of nationality, sovereignty, and Indigenous rights on the Canada-US border from 1783 to the present.

His book, Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border (Charlottesville & London, 2017), won the 2016 Walker Cowan Memorial Prize for an “outstanding work of scholarship in eighteenth-century studies” and was named a 2017 Choice “outstanding academic title” by the American Library Association.

His current research project, in consultation with the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, is a history of the legal case Mitchell v. M.N.R. He uses this twenty-year legal battle between the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the Canadian government to interrogate the role that history and historians play in Indigenous rights on the Canada-US border.

Selected Publications

Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border. Charlottesville & London: University of Virginia Press, 2017.

“Taking Exception to Exceptionalism: Geopolitics and the Founding of an American Empire.” Journal of the Early Republic, 43 (Winter 2014): 653-60.

“The Jay Charter: Rethinking the American National State in the West, 1796-1819.” Diplomatic History, 37 (September 2013): 693-726.

“The Narcissism of Petty Differences? Thomas Jefferson, John Graves Simcoe and the Reformation of Empire in the early United States and British-Canada.” American Review of Canadian Studies, 42 (June 2012): 130-41.

Editorials & Public Engagement

Dr. Hatter has written editorials for The Washington Post, The Oregonian, The Spokesman Review, and The Grand Forks Herald.

He is also a regular columnist for The Inlander, a free weekly newspaper published in Spokane and circulated throughout the inland northwest.

Selected Media Interviews

“George Washington (didn’t) sleep here: Quoting the founders in the 21st century”

“Becoming Citizens of Convenience on the U.S.-Canadian Border with Lawrence B. A. Hatter”

Conversations at the Washington Library.