Joseph Slaughter's research and teaching focuses on how religious movements and businesses have shaped American capitalism. His current book project, Faith in Markets (Columbia University Press), demonstrates how religious identities in the United States' early decades influenced economic decision-making, leading to the formation of distinct visions of the emerging American capitalist system. His work also explores how religion shaped the way indigenous peoples and early American colonists approached warfare, and his current research focues on the religious lives of 19th century U. S. firearm manufacturers.
Before coming to Wesleyan, Slaughter taught world and early American history at the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park in December 2017. Prior to his doctoral studies, he served in the U.S. Navy as a C-2 Greyhound pilot on the USS Harry S. Truman and a catapult and arresting gear officer on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.