Brian F. Carso, JR.

363 Mercy Hall
Misericordia University
Dallas, PA 18612
Phone: (570) 674-6395

Dr. Carso's Bio


Assistant Professor of History and Pre-Law Program Director, Misericordia University


Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies, May 2004.
Boston University. Boston, MA.
Dissertation: "Whom Can We Trust Now?": The Meaning of Treason in the United States, from the Revolution through the Civil War.
• Committee: Professors Gerald F. Leonard, Nina Silber, Bruce J. Schulman, Laura Korobkin, Jon Roberts.

Juris Doctor, June 1992.
State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Law. Buffalo, NY.
Buffalo Law Review. Articles Editor, 1991-92; Member, 1990-91.

Master of Arts in American History, February 1990.
University of Rochester. Rochester, NY.
Master's Thesis: "The Photographer's Soul": Subjectivity in Documentary Photographs of the Great Depression and World War II (supervised by Professors Christopher Lasch and Robert Westbrook).

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude. Major in English, May 1985.
University of Rochester. Rochester, NY.


"Whom Can We Trust Now?" The Meaning of Treason in the United States, from the Revolution through the Civil War. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (July 2006).


"History of Treason" in United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (forthcoming, Fall 2005)


Henry Salvatori Fellow (for graduate study related to the American Founding), Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2001 – 2002.

Summer Research Grant (2008), Misericordia University. For work on a project interpreting the photographs of Robert Capa.


Invited participant, Jack Miller Institute for Teaching the American Founding, at the University of Colorado (July 30-August 12, 2006).

Invited participant, "Liberty and The Culture of Narcissism," Liberty Fund Colloquium, Tucson, Arizona, March 3 – 6, 2005.

"'As Well Their Government As Their Citizens': The Burr Trial and the Antinomies of Treason in the Early Republic," at the Twenty-second Annual Meeting, "Cultivating the Republic," Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), Buffalo, NY, July 20 – 23, 2000.

"'A Republic, If You Can Keep It': Sovereignty, Loyalty, and the Problem of Treason, 1776-1787," at the Third Annual Conference, "The Federal Period in the American Imagination," Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities / Boston University, April 7 – 8, 2000 (Professor Catherine Allgor, respondent).


Classes taught at Misericordia University, 2006 to present:

  1. HIS 103: U.S. History survey (parts I and II)
  2. HIS 320: The American Founding, 1620-1789
  3. HIS 320: The West: History, Art and Literature of the American Frontier
  4. HIS 325: The Civil War
  5. POL 251 & 252 Introduction to American Law/ The Trial in American Life
  6. POL 405 & 406 Constitutional Law (parts I and II)
  7. POL 485: The American Presidency

Teaching Fellow, "History of the United States since 1865," with Professor Marilyn Halter, Boston University College of Arts and Sciences (Spring 1996).


Assistant Commissioner for Operations, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, 6 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12228. Senior policymaking and management position in New York's largest state agency. Oversaw daily operations of Motor Vehicle services in 51 of New York's 62 counties. As the Commissioner's official liaison to county clerks, maintained regular communication with county clerks and other government officials via personal contact and printed and electronic media. Coordinated upgrades of technology and equipment. Conducted quarterly meetings with New York State Association of County Clerks and biannual seminars across the state to educate and instruct on new policy initiatives. Regularly spoke on the Commissioner's behalf to various government organizations and interest groups. Interacted with local, state and federal government officials on policy matters and implementation. Analyzed legislation to determine necessary DMV implementation. Assisted in preparing Commissioner's testimony before New York State legislative bodies and U.S. Congress (March 2003 – July 2006).

County Clerk, Otsego County, New York. 197 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Elected to countywide office in November 1998; re-elected November 2002. Duties included those prescribed by law as Clerk of the Supreme and County Courts within Otsego County, as Registrar of Deeds and other vital records, and as DMV Commissioner's agent for county motor vehicles services. As Clerk of Supreme and County Court, managed all files and official documents relating to cases before two County Court judges and two Supreme Court judges. As Registrar of Deeds, served as chief document officer for all recorded documents in Otsego County dating from 1791 to the present. Indexed and stored all deeds, mortgages, and other documents relating to land transactions and legal matters. Stored census records and assisted in genealogical and other historical research (January 1999 – March 2003).

Attorney. Brian F. Carso, Jr., Attorney at Law. Cooperstown, NY. General practice of law. Represented clients in criminal court, family court, and in various real estate and other transactions. Conducted trials in criminal and family courts. By court's order, appointed special prosecutor on numerous criminal cases (June 1996 – November 1998).

Attorney. Harris Beach & Wilcox, Attorneys at Law. Rochester, NY. Practice of law at a large law firm. As a first-year associate, rotated through various departments, including Litigation, Corporate, Labor and Real Estate. Subsequently, as member of Real Estate department, practiced in areas of commercial and residential real estate, environmental law, public finance and economic development (September 1992 – September 1994).

Assistant / Acting Curator, Visual Resources Collection. University of Rochester, Department of Art and Art History. Rochester, NY. Management and development of a collection of over 125,000 images covering the history of visual culture. (June 1986 – June 1988).


Senior Resident Assistant. Office of Residence Life, Boston University, Boston, MA. Directly supervised a staff of 6 undergraduate resident advisors in a residence hall housing 210 upper class students. Coordinated health and safety activities and information distribution, as well as social and cultural events. Advised Residence Hall Council and assisted Faculty-in-Residence. Regularly served on-call nights and weekends as Senior Resident Assistant for entire West Campus complex, housing over 3000 students (Aug. 1995 – June 1996).

Graduate Resident Advisor. Office of Residence Life, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Directly supervised a staff of 15 undergraduate resident advisors and building activities for a residence hall housing 480 students, primarily freshmen. Similar responsibilities to those described above (Aug. 1988 – June 1989).


American Historical Association

American Society for Legal History

Organization of American Historians


New York State Supreme Court, 4th Judicial District
United States Supreme Court