Timothy Minella

About Me

Timothy K. Minella is a Lecturer in the Lewis Honors College. He earned a B.A. with a double major in Physics and Government at Hamilton College. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of South Carolina. He has taught courses in the history of science, American history, and the humanities. Minella’s scholarship examines the Enlightenment in early America by analyzing how the philosophy of mind shaped scientific practice in agriculture, natural history, politics, and other fields. He is also working on a project about race and the science of hair in the nineteenth century. In his free time, he enjoys sampling craft beer, attending sporting events, running, and following e-sports.  


Ask Me About... 

  • Literature and writing. I organize a variety of reading clubs and writing groups at Lewis. With fellow lecturer Kenton Sena, I lead the Great Books Club that meets to discuss classic works in literature and philosophy.
  • History and philosophy of science and technology. I am interested in how we know what we know, with a particular focus on scientific practices of agriculture, natural history, and politics in the early American republic. I have taught courses in the world history of science and technology and the history of natural history. 
  • Political theory. I am developing a course on Shakespeare’s political philosophy as revealed in his plays. 


I study the history of science in the early American republic. Contrary to standard interpretations of early Americans that criticized them for their lack of interest in science and philosophy, I show how Americans engaged in important debates about the human mind in the transatlantic Enlightenment. I have examined scientific practice in agriculture, natural history, politics, and education. Here are some examples of my work:

“A Pattern for Improvement: Pattern Farms and Scientific Authority in Early Nineteenth-Century America”

“Ann Johnson on Natural History and Engineering in the Early American Republic”

“Tocqueville on Twitter”