Tag Archives: Native American History

What Makes You Ask “Why?”

There is a tweet by Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution that has raised the ire of more than a few historians.

I will admit that I do not follow Hamid’s work. I have read a piece he wrote for The Atlantic, but I have not read his books. Tweets are a poor way to communicate a complex argument, so I want to be charitable. A large number of critics responded to Hamid’s tweet by pointing out that historians have written important and illuminating books about Hitler and the Nazis, and about Stalin and Stalinism. They wrote about people and groups who they found utterly despicable.

Hamid’s argument, as he stated it on Twitter, is simplistic and short-sighted. But it is not entirely without merit. In another tweet in the thread, Hamid seemed to call upon scholars to honor what the historian Peter Novick long ago called “That Noble Dream,” the ideal of objectivity, in their scholarly work.

This echoes the basic advice many aspiring historians learn early in their schooling. Be aware of your biases, and try to shed them when you enter the library, archives, or study hall. You need to keep your eyes, your ears, and your heart open when you frame the questions that guide your research. Historians agree with Hamid that we all must be fair when we assess the evidence we uncover. But I still see this entire argument as problematic. It is precisely not the advice we should give to aspiring historians. Objectivity and neutrality are not he same thing.

What is it that causes you to ask “Why?” History is not a science, but it is a discipline. It is the study of continuity and change, measured across time and space, in peoples, institutions, and cultures. Historians ask questions about continuity and change, and they answer them in a thorough and disciplined manner. History is, for many of us, a subject we came to out of a sense that something is wrong, that there were better alternatives to our current reality that never were explored. Why? As the historian Tom Crick explained in Graeme Swift’s novel Waterland, the practice of asking “Why?” is fundamental to the human condition, and it emerges from a sense that not all is as it should be. Why did this happen? And why the conditions that led to that? And so on and so on and so on.

In Native American History I think this is especially the case. A student reads about an incident, an episode, or a historical process and is staggered by what she reads. She has to understand why this happened. She despises the people she studies, whether it is the Paxton Boys, the murderous militiamen at Gnaddenhutten, Chivington of Sand Creek, or the founders of the Indian boarding schools. If she works in a disciplined manner, her strong feelings will not stand in the way of sound academic work. Her passions and her interests brought her to the very questions she asks. Students always should write about those subjects that matter to them, those subjects that get under their skin. It is the questions that keep you up at night that lead to good historical work.

There is so much suffering in the past. If we are to pretend that the study of history will make things better, how can we not choose sides? History has been in the news so much during what I hope are the final weeks of the Trump administration. The President has called for a patriotic history that will teach children to love their country. In the same breath he denounces “socialist” educators who “hate America.” In a sense, Trump and Hamid share a belief that the strong feelings of a scholar will lead them to produce biased, partisan, and tendentious work.

But that is not how it works. There is dreadful and pointless history written by scholars who cling to the mantle of objectivity, and fantastic work written by activist historians. There is no necessary division between scholarship and activism when both are done honestly and in a disciplined manner.

History enters into everything. For every student who has looked at the world and thought, “this is not right,” and wondered how or why things have changed or failed to change, there is a historical answer. The young person, marching with a BLM banner may be driven to study the continued violence of law enforcement against peoples of color and conclude that systemic racism is a reality in American life. Her very existence, her understanding of the harsh realities of racism, led her to her academic work. Long ago, my own disgust about “Indian Removal,” a subject about which I knew little and responded to more on the level of emotion and sentiment rather than knowledge, launched me into a career in history.

Many of those who do not like what we say about the past will question our motives. They will assume that we are dragging up negative and hateful stories about the past because we hate the people or the places we study, and that we want or need our readers and students to hate those things as much as us. But that is not it at all. It is our sense that all is not well that leads us to ask questions about the past. We work because we are so aware of the enormous, yawning gap between the way things are and the way things ought to be, and we know that we will never bridge it without understanding how that chasm formed in the first place, and those who benefit from its continued existence.

What You Need to Read, March 2019

Adams, James David, Jr., Troy Phipps, “Los Angeles Area Indian Land Ownership After the Civil War,” Journal of the West, 57 (Spring 2018) 7-13.

Andersson, Rani-Henrik and Raymond J. DeMallie, A Whirlwind Passed Through Our Country: Lakota Voices of the Ghost Dance, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018)

Beck, Robin. Chiefdoms, Collapse, and Coalescence in the Early American South, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Beyreis, David. “The Chaos of Conquest: The Bents and the Problem of American Expansion, 1846-1849,” Kansas History,  41 (Summer 2018), 74-89.

Bruchac, Margaret M. “Broken Chains of Custody: Possessing, Dispossessing, and Repossessing Lost Wampum Belts,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 163 (March 2018), 56-105.

Buchkoski, John J. “’Being Judged by its Fruits’: Transforming Indian Lands into Orchards along the Arkansas River, 1800-1867,” Great Plains Quarterly, 39 (Winter 2019), 39-58.

Burns, Michael “The Civil War on the Northern Plains: John Pope’s Military Policies against the Sioux in the Department of the Northwest, 1862-1865,” Great Plains Quarterly, 38 (Winter 2018), 77-103.

 Georgia Press, 2018).

Catalano, Joshua Casmir. “Blue Jacket, Anthony Wayne, and the Psychological and Symbolic War for Ohio, 1790-1795,” Ohio History, 126 (Spring 2019), 5-34.

Cipolla, Craig N., James Quinn, and Jay Levy. “Theory in Collaborative Indigenous Archaeology: Insights from Mohegan,” American Antiquity, 84 (January 2019), 127-142.

Donis, Jay. “No Man Shall Suffer for the Murder of a Savage: The Augusta Boys and the Virginia and Pennsylvania Frontiers,” Pennsylvania History,86 (Winter 2019), 38-66.

Dubcovsky, Alejandra. Informed Power: Communication in the Early American South, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016).

Estes, Nick and Jaskiran Dhillon, eds., Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

Fowles, Severin, et. al., “Comanche New Mexico: The Eighteenth Century,” in New Mexico and the Pimeria Alta: The Colonial Period in the American Southwest, ed. John G. Douglass and William M. Graves, (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2017)

Garret-Davis, Josh. “The Intertribal Drum of Radio: The Indians for Indians Hour and Native American Media, 1941-1951,” Western Historical Quarterly, 49 (Autumn 2018) 249-273.

Gillreath-Brown, Andrew and Tanya M. Peres, “Identifying Turtle Shell Rattles in the Archaeological Record of the Southeastern United States,” Ethnobiology Letters, 8 (no. 1, 2017), 109-114

Grillot, Thomas. “The Point of View of a Stone: Looking at the Colonization of the Northern Plains from the Standing Rock,” Ethnohistory, 66 (January 2019), 49-70

Hansen, Karen V., Grey Osterud, and Valerie Grim, “Land Was One of the Greatest Gifts: Womens Land Ownership in Dakota Indian, Immigrant Scandinavian, and African American Communities,” Great Plains Quarterly, 38 (Summer 2018), 251-272.

Handsman, Russel G. “Survivance Strategies and the Materialities of Mashantucket Pequot Labor in the Later Eighteenth Century,” Historical Archaeology, 52 (March 2018), 51-69.

Harper, Rob. Unsettling the West: Violence and State Building in the Ohio Valley, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

Hart, Siobhan and Paul A. Shackel, Colonialism, Community and Heritage in Native New England, (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2019).

Hauptman, Laurence M. Coming Full Circle: The Seneca Nation of Indians, 1848-1934, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019).

Henry, Robert, et. al., eds. Global Indigenous Health: Reconciling the Past, Engaging the Present, Animating the Future. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018).

Hodge, Adam R. Ecology and Ethnogenesis: An Environmental History of the Wind River Shoshones, 1000-1868, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

Kelderman, Frank. “Rock Island Revisited: Black Hawk’s Life, Keokuk’s Oratory, and the Critique of US Indian Policy,” The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, 6 (Spring 2018), 67-92.

Keyser, James D. “Cheval Bonnet: A Crow Calling Card in the Blackfeet Homeland,” Ethnohistory, 65 (January 2018) 129-155.

Koehler, Rhiannon. “Hostile Nations: Quantifying the Destruction of the Sullivan-Clinton Genocide of 1779,” American Indian Quarterly, 42 (Fall 2018), 427-453.

Kokomoor, Kevin. Of One Mind and of One Government: The Rise and Fall of theh Creek Nation in the Early Republic, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

Lampitt, Bradley R. “The Civil War and Reconstruction in Indian Territory: Historiography and Prospects for New Directions in Research,” Civil War History, 64 (June 2018), 121-145.

Landrum, Cynthia Leanne. The Dakota Experience at Flandreau and Pipestsone Indian Schools, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

McNeil, Kent. “Louisiana Purchase: Indian and American Sovereignty in the Missouri Watershed,” Western Historical Quarterly, 50 (Spring 2019). 17-42.

Madley, Benjamin. “California’s First Mass Incarceration System: Franciscan Missions, California Indians, and Penal Servitude, 1769-1836,” Pacific Historical Review, 88 (Winter 2019), 14-47.

Miller, Douglas K. Indians on the Move: Native American Mobility and Urbanization in the Twentieth Century, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

Nielsen, Marianne O.  and Karen Jarratt-Snider, Crime and Social Justice in Indian Country, (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018)

Osburn, Katherine M. B., “Strategic Citizenship: Negotiating Public Law 280 in Arizona, 1953-1968,” Ethnohistory, 66 (June 2019), 1-20.

Ostler, Jeffrey. Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019).

Pawling, Micah A. “A ‘Labyrinth of Uncertainties’: Penobscot River Islands, Land Assignments, and Indigenous Women Proprietors in Nineteenth Century Maine,” American Indian Quarterly, 42 (Fall 2018), 454-487.

Pexa, Christopher J. Translated Nation: Rewriting the Dakhota Oyate, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

Rindfleisch, Bryan. “The Indian Factors: Kinship, Trade, and Authority in the Creek Nation and American South, 1740-1800,” Journal of Early American History, 8 (2018), 1-29.

________. “’We Are Now, As We Have Always Been, A Free and Independent People’: The Familial and Interpersonal Dimensions of Creek Indian Sovereignty, 1783-1800,” New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century, 15 (Spring 2018), 33-53.

Rivas, Brenna Gardner. “An Unequal Right to Bear Arms: State Weapons Laws and White Supremacy in Texas, 1836-1900,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 121 (January 2018), 285-303.

Robbins, Sarah Ruffing.  “Reclaiming Voices from Indian Boarding School Narratives,” in Reclaiming Voices from Indian Boarding School Narratives, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017), 135-179.

Sedgwick, John. Blood Moon: Am American Epic of War and Splendor in the Cherokee Nation, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2018).

Shreve, Bradley G. “From Gallup to Grandiosity and Back Again: The National Indian Youth Council and the Roots of Red Power,” New Mexico Historical Review, 93 (Fall 2018), 377-397.

Smithers, Gregory D. Native Southerners: Indigenous History from Origins to Removal, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

Strong, John A. America’s Early Whalemen: Indian Shore Whalers on Long Island, 1650-1750, (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018).

Toulouse, Pamela Rose. Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools, (Winnipeg: Portage and Main Press, 2018).

Trafzer, Clifford. Fighting Invisible Enemies: Health and Medical Transitions among Southern California Indians, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019).

Treuer, David. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, (New York: Riverhead Books, 2019).

Truden, John. “Reexamining Dick Wilson: Oglala Politics, Nation Building, and Local Conflict, 1972-1976,” South Dakota History, 48 (Fall 2018), 173-199.

Van de Logt, Mark. Monsters of Contact: Historical Trauma in Caddoan Oral Traditions, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

VanWinkle, Tony N. and Jack R. Friedman, “American Indian Landowners, Leasemen, and Bureaucrats: Property, Paper, and the Poli-Technics of Dispossession in Southwestern Oklahoma,” American Indian Quarterly, 42 (Fall 2018), 508-533.

Walkiewicz, Kathryn. “Pressing for Sequoyah: Print Culture and the Indian Territory Statehood Movement,” Journal of Nineteenth Century Americanist, 6 (Fall 2018), 335-364.

Warren, James A. God, War, and Providence: The Epic Struggle of Roger Williams and the Narragansett Indians against the Puritans of New England, (New York: Scribner, 2018).

Waterman, Stephanie J. and Shelly C. Lowe, Beyond Access: Indigenizing Programs for Native American Student Success, (Sterling, VA: Stylus, 2018).

Watson, Samuel. “Military Learning and Adaptation Shaped by Social Context: The U. S. Army and Its ‘Indian Wars,’ 1790-1890,” Journal of Military History, 82 (April 2018) 373-438.

Wilkins, David E. Documents of Native American Political Development: 1933 to the Present, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).

What You Need to Read, September 2018

Here it is, your quarterly guide to the vast literature in Native American Studies.  If I missed something that you found particularly valuable, please let me know and I will be happy to revise this list accordingly.

 

Allard, Seth.  Guided by the Spirits: The Meanings of Life, Death, and Youth Suicide in an Ojibwa Community, (New York: Routledge, 2018).

Allison, I. R. “Beyond It All: Surveying the Intersections of Modern American Indian, Environmental, and Western Histories,” History Compass, 16 (no. 4, 2018).

Bernstein, David. How the West Was Drawn: Mapping, Indians, and the Construction of the Trans-Mississippi West, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Beyreis, D. “The Chaos of Conquest: The Bents  and the Problem of American Expansion, 1846-1849,” Kansas History, 41 (no. 2, 2018), 74-89.

Bigmouth, Adam. Ojibwe Stories from the Upper Berens River: A Irving Hallowell and Adam Bigmouth in Conversation, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Biolsi, Thomas.  Power and Progress on the Prairie: Governing People on Rosebud Reservation, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).

Brown, K M. “Crafting Identity: Acquisition, Production, Use and Recycling of Soapstone During the Mission Period in Alta California,” American Antiquity, 83 (no. 2, 2018), 244-262.

Brown, Kirby. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

Calloway, Colin.  The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Canizares-Esguerra, Jorge. Entangled Empires: The Anglo-Iberian Atlantic, 1500-1830, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

Case, Martin. The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became US Property, (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2018).

Cevasco, Carla. “Hunger Knowledges and Cultures in New England’s Borderlands, 1675-1770,” Early American Studies, 16 (no. 2, 2018), 255-281.

Clark, Andrew J. and Douglas B. Bamforth, Archaeological Perspectives on Warfare on the Great Plains, (Louisville, CO: University of Colorado Press, 2018).

Clemmons, L. M. “‘The Young Folks Wnat to Go in and See the Indians’: Davenport Citizens, Protestant Missionaries, and Dakota Prisoners of War, 1863-1866,” Annals of Iowa, 77 (no. 2, 2018), 121-150.

Colley, Brook and Dave Lewis. Power in the Telling: Grand Ronde, Warm Springs, and Intertribal Relations in the Casino Era, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018).

David, Jenny. Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance, (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018).

Downey, Allan.  The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood, (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2018).

DeLucia, Christine M. Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018).

Driscoll, Kerry. Mark Twain among the Indians and other Indigenous Peoples, (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018).

Dubcovsky, Alejandra. “When Archaeology and History Meet: Shipwrecks, Indians, and the Contours of the Early-Eighteenth Century South,” Journal of Southern History, 84 (no. 1, 2018), 39-68.

Erdrick, Heid. New Poets of Native Nations, (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2018).

Gallo, M. “Improving Independence: The Struggle over Land Surveys in Northwestern Pennsylvania in 1794,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 142 (no. 2, 2018), 131-161.

Garrett-Davis. J., “The Intertribal Drum of Radio: The Indians for Indians Hour and Native American Media, 1941-1951,” Western Historical Quarterly, 49 (no. 3, 2018), 249-273.

Gelo, Daniel J. Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier: The Ethnology of Heinrich Berghaus, (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2018).

Gercken, Becca and Julie Pelletier, Gambling on Authenticity: Gaming, the Noble Savage, and the Not-So-New Indian. (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2018).

Graber, Jennifer. The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Greer, Allan. Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Handsman, Russell G. “Survivance Strategies and the Materialities of Mashantucket Pequot Labor in the Later Eighteenth Century,” Historical Archaeology, 52 (no. 1, 2018), 51-69.

Hansen, Karen V., G. Osterud, and V. Grim, “Land Was One of the Greatest Gifts: Women’s Land Ownership in Dakota Indian, Immigrant Scandinavian, and African-American Communities,” Great Plains Quarterly, 38 (no. 3, 2018), 251-272.

Haveman, Christopher D. Bending Their Way Onward: Creek Indian Removal in Documents, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Haynes, Joshua S. Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek Georgia Frontier, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2018).

Joy, N. “The Indian’s Cause: Abolitionists and Native American Rights,” Journal of the Civil War Era, 8 (no. 2, 2018), 47-74.

Justice, Daniel Heath. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018).

Kauanui, J. Kehaulani, Speaking of Indigenous Politics: Conversations with Activists, Scholars, and Tribal Leaders, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).

Keyes, S. “Western Adventurers and Male Nurse: Indians, Cholera, and Masculinity in Overland Trail Narratives,” Western Historical Quarterly, 49 (no. 1, 2018), 43-64.

Knight, V. J. “Puzzles of Creek Social Organization in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries,” Ethnohistory, 65 (no. 3, 2018), 373-389.

Krupat, Arnold. Changed Forever: American Indian Boarding School Literature. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2018).

Lampitt, B. C. “The Civil War and Reconstruction in Indian Territory: Historiography and Prospects for New Directions in Research,” Civil War History, 64 (no. 2, 2018), 121-145.

Launay, R. “Maize Avoidance: Colonial French Attitudes Towards Native American Foods in the Pays des Illinois (17th-18th Century),” Food and Foodways: History and Culture of Human Nourishment, 26 (no. 2, 2018), 92-104.

Liebler, C.  “Counting America’s First Peoples,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 677, (2018), 180-190.

Lightfoot, Kent G. and Gonzalez, S. L. “The Study of Sustained Colonialism: An Example from the Kashaya Pomo Homeland in Northern California,” American Antiquity, 83 (no. 3, 2018), 427-443.

Mancall, Peter C. Nature and Culture in the Early Modern Atlantic, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

Mathes, Valerie Shere. Reservations, Removal, and Reform: The Mission Indian Agents of Southern California, 1878-1903, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

Matthews, C. N. and Manfra A. McGovern, “Created Communities: Segregation and the History of Plural Sites on Eastern Long Island, New York,” Historical Archaeology, 52 (no. 1, 2018), 30-50.

Melton, M. A. “Cropping in an Age of Captive Taking: Exploring Evidence for Uncertainty and Food Insecurity in the Seventeenth Century North Carolina Piedmont,” American Antiquity, 83 (no. 2, 2018), 204-223.

Mihesuah, Devon. Ned Christie: The Creation of an Outlaw and Cherokee Hero, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

Minthorn, Robin Starr and Heather J. Shotten, Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education, (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2018).

Monaco, C. S. The Second Seminole War and the Limits of American Aggression, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018).

Murrin, John. Rethinking America: From Empire to Republic, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Nichols. David Andrew. Peoples of the Inland Sea: Native Americans and Newcomers in the Great Lakes Region, 1600-1870, (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2018).

Nolan, R. “The Midnight Rider: The EPA and Tribal Self-Determination,” American Indian Quarterly, 42 (3), 2018), 329-343.

Parham, Vera.  Pan-Tribal Activism in the Pacific Northwest: The Power of Indigenous Protest and the Birth of the  Daybreak Star Cultural Center, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018).

Parker, Alan. Pathways to Indigenous Nation Soveriegnty: A Chronicle of Federal Policy, (East Lansing, MI: Makwa Enewed, 2018).

Peace, Thomas. “Indigenous Intellectual Traditions and Biography in the Northeast: A Historiographical Reflection,” History Compass, 16 (no. 4, 2018).

Posthumus, David C. All My Relatives: Exploring Lakota Ontology, Belief, and Ritual, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Powell, Dana E. Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018).

Pressley, P. M. “The Many Worlds of Titus: Marronage, Freedom and the Entangled Borders of Lowcountry Georgia and Spanish Florida,” Journal of Southern History, 83 (no. 3, 2018) 545-578.

Round, Philip. “Mississippian Contexts for Early American Studies,” Early American Literature, 53 (no. 2, 2018), 445-473.

Rutherdale, Myra and Kerry M. Abel, Roots of Entanglement: Essays in the History of Native-Newcomer Relations, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018).

Stark, H. K and Stark, K. J. “Nenabozho Goes Fishing: A Sovereignty Story,” Daedalus, 147 (no .2, 2018), 17-26.

Stevens, Scott Manning. “Tomahawk: Materiality and Depictions of the Haudenosaunee,” Early American Literature, 53 (no. 2, 2018), 475-511.

Teodoro, M. P., Haider, M., and Switzer, D., “US Environmental Policy Implementation on Tribal Lands: Trust, Neglect, and Justice,” Policy Studies Journal, 46 (no. 1, 2018), 37-59.

Teuton, Sean Kicmmah. Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Topash-Caldwell, B. “The Birch-Bark Booklets of Simon Pokagon,” Michigan History Magazine, 102 (no.4, 2018), 50-54.

Tusler, M. “Toward a Native Archive: Chicago’s Relocation Photos, Indian Labor and Indigenous Public Text,” American Indian Quarterly, 42 (no. 3, 2018) 375-410.

Watson, Irene.  Indigenous Peoples as Subjects of International Law, (New York: Routledge, 2018).

Wisecup, Kelly. “`Meteors, Ships, Etc’: Native American Histories of Colonialism and Early American Archives,” American Literary History, 30 (no. 1, 2018), 29-54.

What You Need to Read, June 2018

It’s that time of the year again.  Let me know if you think I missed something that I ought to have included.  It is summer break, and I hope you find something here you can use.

 

Allard, Seth. Guided By the Spirits: The Meanings of Life, Death, and Youth Suicide in an Ojibwa Community, (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 2018).

Alt, Susan M. Cahokia’s Complexities: Ceremonies and Politics of the First Mississippian Farmers, (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2018).

Bens, Jonas.  “When the Cherokee Became Indigenous: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and its Paradoxical Legalities,” Ethnohistory, 65 (2018), 247-267.

Bernstein, David. How the West was Drawn: Mapping, Indians, and the Construction of the Trans-Mississippi West, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Brooks, Lisa. “Awikhigawogan ta Pildow Ojmowogan: Mapping a New History,” William and Mary Quarterly, 75 (April 2018), 259-294.

Bruchac, Margaret and Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists, (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018).

Calloway, Colin.  The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Carlson, Kirsten Matoy.  “Making Strategic Choices: How and Why Indian Groups Advocated for Federal Recognition from 1977 to 2012,” Law and Society Review, 51 (December 2017), 930-965.

Case, Martin. The Relentless Business Of Treaties: How Indigenous Land became US Property, (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2018).

Cevasco, C. “Hunger Knowledges and Cultures in New England’s Borderlands, 1675-1710,” Early American Studies, 16 (2018) 255-281.

Clemons, Linda M. “‘The Young folks [want] to go in and see the Indians’: Davenport Citizens, Protestant Missionaries, and Dakota Prisoners of War, 1863-1866,” Annals of Iowa, 77 (Spring 2018), 121-150.

Crossen, J. “Another Wave of Anti-Colonialism: The Origins of Indigenous Internationalism,” Canadian Journal of History, 52 (No. 3, 2017), 533-559.

Crouch, Christian Ayne.  “Surveying the Present, Projecting the Future: Reevaluating Colonial French Plans of Kanesatake,” William and Mary Quarterly, 75 (April 2018), 323-342.

Deer, Sarah.  The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015).

DeLucia, Christine, “Fugitive Collections in New England Indian Country: Indigenous Material Culture and Early American History at Ezra Stiles’s Yale Museum,” William and Mary Quarterly, 75 (January 2018), 109-150.

DeLucia, Christine M. Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018).

Den Ouden, Amy. “Recognition, Antiracism, and Indigenous Futures: A View from Connecticut,” Daedalus, 147 (201*0, 27-38.

Dubcovsky, Alejandra, “Defying Indian Slavery: Apalcahee Voices and Spanish Sources in the Eighteenth-Century Southeast,” William and Mary Quarterly, 75 (April 2018), 295-322.

Edwards, Tai S. Osage Women and Empire: Gender and Power, (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2018).

Gallo, M. “Improving Independence: The Struggle over Land Surveys in Northwestern Pennsylvania in 1794,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 142 (2018), 131-161.

Ganteaume, Cecile, Officially Indian: Symbols that Define the United States, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017).

Gelo, Daniel J. “Two Episodes in Texas Indian History Reconsidered: getting the Facts Right about he Lafuente Attack and the Fort Parker Raid,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 120 (April 2017), 411-460.

Gerken, Becca and Julie Pelletier, Gambling on Authenticity: Gaming, the Noble Savage, and the Not-So-New Indian, (Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2018).

Girard, Jeffrey S. The Caddos and their Ancestors: Archaeology and the Native People of Northwest Louisiana, (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2018).

Graber, Jennifer. The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West, (New York: Oxford University Press 2018).

Grillot, Thomas. First Americans: U. S. Patriotism in Indian Country, after World War I, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018)

Griffith, J. “Of Linguicide and Resistance: Children and English Instruction in Nineteenth-Century Indian Boarding Schools in Canada,” Paedagogica Historica, 53 (2017), 763-782.

Hackel, Steven W. The Worlds of Junipero Serra: Historical Contexts and Cultural Representations, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018).

Haggerty, Julia Hobson, et. al., “Restoration and the Affective Ecologies of Healing: Buffalo and the Fort Peck Tribes,” Conservation and Society, 16 (no. 1, 2018), 21-29.

Handsman, R. G. “Survivance Strategies and the Materialities of Mashantucket Pequot Labor in the Later Eighteenth Century,” Historical Archaeology, 52 (2018), 51-69.

Haynes, Joshua S. Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek Georgia Frontier, 1770-1796, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2018).

Joy, N. “The Indian’s Cause: Abolitionists and Native American Rights,” Journal of the Civil War Era, 8 (2018), 47-74.

Keyser, James D. “Cheval Bonnet: A Crow Calling Card in the Blackfeet Homeland,” Ethnohistory, 65 (January 2018), 129-156.

Klann, M.  “Babies in Blankets: Motherhood, Tourism, and American Identity in Indian Baby Shows, 1916-1949,” Journal of Women’s History, 29 (2017), 38-61.

Kracht, Benjamin R. Religious Revitalization among the Kiowas: The Ghost Dance, Peyote, and Christianity, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Krupat, Benjamin. Changed Forever: American Indian Boarding School Literature, (Albany: SUNY Press, 2018).

Mays, Kyle. Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America, (Albany: SUNY Press, 2018).

Miller, D. Shane. From Colonization to Domestication: Population, Environment, and the Origins of Agriculture in Eastern North America, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2018).

Mt. Pleasant, Alyssa, Caroline Wigginton, and Kelly Wisecup, “Materials and Methods in Native American and Indigenous Studies: Completing the Turn,” William and Mary Quarterly, 75 (April 2018), 207-236.

Paldam, E. “Chumash Conversions: The Historical Dynamics of Religious Change in Native California,” Numen: International Review for the History of Religions, 64 (2017), 596-625,

Parham, Vera.  Pan-Tribal Activism in the Pacific Northwest: The Power of Indigenous Protest and the Birth of the Daybreak Star Cultural Center, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018).

Pulsipher, Jenny Hale. Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped out of Harvard, and Conned the King of England, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018).

Radin, J. “Digital Natives: How Medical and Indigenous Histories Matter for Big Data,” Osiris, 32 (2017), 43-64.

Rindfleisch, Bryan. “The Indian Factors: Kinship, Trade and Authority in the Creek Nation & American South,” Journal of Early American History, 8 (2018), 1-29.

Sabol, S. “In Search of Citizenship: The Society of American Indians and the First World War,” Oregon Historical Quarterly, 118 (2017), 268-271.

Shannon, Timothy.  Indian Captive, Indian King: Peter Williamson in America and Britain, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018).

Stevens, E. M. “Tomahawk: Materiality and Depictions of the Haudenosaunee,” Early American Literature, 53 (2018), 475-511.

Stockwell, Mary. Unlikely General: ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018).

Watson, Samuel.  “Military Learning and Adaptation Shaped by Social Context: The U. S. Army and Its Indian Wars, 1790-1890,” Journal of Military History, 82 (April 2018), 373-438.

Zimmer, E. S. “A President in Indian Country: Calvin Coolidge and Lakota Diplomacy in the Summer of 1927,” Great Plains Quarterly, 37 (2017), 215-234.

Book Orders are In

As the semester comes crashing to a close, I did manage to get my book orders in on time for next semester.  For my survey course in Native American History, I will be assigning:

Prucha, Documents of United States Indian Policy, 3rd Edition

Hoxie, Talking Back to Civilization

Treuer, Rez Life

Oberg, Native America, 2nd ed.

Calloway, Our Hearts Fell to the Ground, 2nd edition

and Silverman, Red Brethren.

 

For my course in American Colonial History, students will read:

Greene, Settlements to Society, 1607-1763

Taylor, American Colonies

Pagan, Anne Orthwood’s Bastard

Oberg, Uncas: First of the Mohegans

Starks, Two Princes of Calabar

and Rediker, The Fearless Benjamin Lay

 

And for my course in Western Humanities, a required course here at Geneseo, students will read:

Holy Bible, Revised Standard Edition

Aeneid of Virgil

Sophocles, Three Theban Plays

Plato, Republic

Thucydides, On Justice Power and Human Nature

Aquinas, Treatise on Law

Augustine, Confessions

More, Utopia. 

 

 

What You Need To Read, December 2017

Back with the final “What You Need To Read” in Native American history for the year.  These are all recent additions to my “Must See” list. If I have missed anything that you have found particularly rewarding or valuable, or if you would like one of your works to be included on the list, feel free to drop me a line and I will catch you next time.

Lisa Brooks, Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018).

Peter Cozzens, The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, (New York: Knopf, 2017).

Christine M. DeLucia, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

Alejandra Dubcovsky, “When Archaeology and History Meet: Shipwrecks, Indians, and the Contours of the Early-Eighteenth-Century South,” Journal of Southern History, 84 (February 2018).

Katherine Ellinghaus, Blood Will Tell: Native Americans and Assimilation Policy, (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

John Ryan Fischer, Cattle Colonialism: An Environmental History of the Conquest of California and Hawai’i. (Chapel Hill: Universityof North Carolina Press, 2015).

Hansen, Karen V., et. al., “Immigrants as Settler Colonists: Boundary Work Between Dakota Indians White Immigrant Settlers,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40 (September 2017), 1919-1938.

Joe Jackson, Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary, (New York: MacMillan, 2017).

Jeffers Lennox, Homelands and Empires: Indigenous Spaces, Imperial Fictions, and Competition for Territory in Northeastern North America, 1690-1763 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017).

John M. Low, Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2016.)

Robert Aquinas McNally, The Modoc War: A Story of Genocide at the Dawn of America’s Gilded Age, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018)

C. S. Monaco, The Second Seminole War and the Limits of American Aggression, (Baltimore: Hopkins, 2018).

Randy A. Peppler and Randall S. Ware, “Native American Agriculturalist Movements in Oklahoma,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 41 (No. 1, 2017), 73-86.

Powers, David M. “William Pynchon, the Agawam Indians, and the 1636 Deed for Springfield,” Historical Journal of Massachusettts, 45 (Summer 2017), 115-137.

Timothy Shannon, Indian Captive, Indian King: Peter Williamson in America and Britain, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017)

Sabol, Steven, “In Search of Citizenship: The Society of American Indians and the First World War,” Oregon Historical Quarterly, 118 (Summer 2017), 268-271.

Christina Snyder, “The Rise and Fall of Civilizations: Indian Intellectual Culture During the Removal Era,” Journal of American History, 104 (September 2017), 386-409.

Kevin Whalen, “Indian School, Company Town: Outing Workers from the Sherman Institute at Fontana Farms Company, 1907-1930,” Pacific Historical Review, 86 (May 2017), 290-321.

K. Whitney Mauer, “Indian Country Poverty: Place-Based Poverty on American Indian Territories, 2006-2010,” Rural Sociology, 82 (September 2017), 473-498.

David E Wilkins and Shelley Hulse Wilkins, Dismembered: Native Disenrollment and the Battle for Human Rights, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017).

 

On Charlottesville, and Our National Character

In what ways does the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville matter?

In the past two weeks I have listened to the Attorney General of the United States announce his determination to investigate discrimination on college campuses against…..wait for it….white people.  This move was endorsed by a President who has called Mexicans “rapists” and “animals,” and who has in as many words endorsed police brutality against African Americans and other people of color.  A sheriff’s deputy in Oklahoma, meanwhile, who gunned down an African American man who was walking away from her with his hands raised was rehired by another law enforcement agency.  And Friday night, and again on Saturday in Charlottesville, white supremacists marched in an American city, on an American college campus founded by Thomas Jefferson.  That flawed hypocrite whose moral cowardice was so great, who fathered children with his slave mistress while owning many other African Americans, who denounced native peoples as savages and spent much of his presidency trying to dispossess them, proclaimed his support for the premise that “all men are created equal.”

Saturday morning I sold a broken down flat-screen TV to a scrap-dealer.  Found a dude on Craig’s List who bought and sold dead flat-screens, and who included in his rapid-fire text messages a reference to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  He showed up. Never shook my hand. Never made eye-contact, and never acknowledged my wife who also was standing outside.  He had on an Infowars T-Shirt.  “Ideas are bulletproof,” it read, with the letters imposed over an image of the Constitution. And the stickers on the back window of his truck?  A gun, pointed right at me, with the caption “Not This Truck;”  a  “F–k Cuomo” sticker, with the “f” and the “k” fashioned from the outlines of assault rifles; and a seal for some sort of militia group to which he pledged allegiance (I wish I could remember exactly what it said).

I sold a broken down television, in other words, to a guy who loudly proclaimed his embrace of Christianity in every text he sent, while at the same time announcing to all whose path he crossed that he not only would use violence to protect his personal property, but that he expected somebody to try to take it.  What a dark, frightened, and violent way to look at the world.

These views, expressed on my driveway by a frightened but well-armed scrap-dealer/militia member, or acted upon by the vicious nerds, gun fetishists, racists and thugs in Charlottesville, and described as moral equivalents to the views held by those who believe in justice, equality, and that black lives do matter by our babbling President, are of course nothing new in American history.  We have seen this before.  Too many times over too many years.  Nearly all of us who study this nation’s history for a living, I suspect, were shocked, angered and dismayed, but we were not surprised.  Sick and tired, but not surprised. The racists and white supremacists appeared in Charlottesville, but they had never, every, really gone away.

And that is a lesson, I believe, that must now inform my courses in Native American History even more than they have done in the past.  Hatred and fear of a racialized other.  It runs through the colonial period of American history. You cannot miss it if you look at the sources: from the treatment of native peoples by a frontier population intent on extracting a livelihood from ground seized from native peoples, to the slave owners, and the the lawmakers and legislators and founding fathers who regulated and policed the expropriation of native peoples’ lands and African peoples’ labor.   As I make my way slowly through Robert Parkinson’s magisterial The Common Cause, the best book I have seen on the American Revolution in some time, it is abundantly clear how important a fostered hatred of warlike native peoples and rebellious African slaves was to give shape to the “common cause” for which American patriots fought during the Revolutionary war.  Racism was there at the outset, fundamental to the formation of American national identity.  There have been, of course, many courageous people who have spoken out against this blight at the heart of the nation–some of them were mowed own by a white supremacist’s car on Saturday–and this heroic tradition is important.  But to deny the centrality of its opposite–racial antipathy–is to fail to examine closely the entire content of our nation’s character.

Three times more Africans migrated to the English American colonies than white people between 1630 and 1780.  Slavery was fundamental to the settlement and growth of the Anglo-American empire.  That dynamic and expansive process of enslavement, as historians like Brett Rushforth, Alan Gallay, Linford Fisher, Christina Snyder and many others have recently shown, ensnared many native peoples, too.  Slavery was central.  So was the systematic and organized dispossession of native peoples. I have tried to write about all of this in the second edition of Native America.

“This was all in the past,” you might say.  That is what Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to think.  The President, too, ever-ready with insult and slur, has proven himself time and again incapable of denouncing the white supremacists who believe strongly that he endorses their views.  This all is heartbreaking, you might say.  You might say that what we are seeing in Charlottesville is inconsistent with who we are as a nation.  You may respond to the news  by tweeting out a message of hope or inspiration under the hashtag #thisisnotus.  That is naive.  Dispossession. Discrimination.  Police forces, armed and militarized to the hilt, locked and loaded to protect the lives, liberties, and property of white people from what  they perceive as the threat posed by people of color, slay African Americans and Native Americans largely without fear of the consequences.

I have seen an increasing number of “Police Lives Matter” flags in the Rochester area, and “Blue Line” American flags.  I see on the news stories about how a Canandaigua woman quickly sold out of the shirts and signs she printed proclaiming that “I Support the Police,” or something like that. It’s a tough job. I get that. If you cannot do it without fearing or discriminating or murdering people of color, please for the sake of humanity do something else.

Is it worse than it has been in the past? We have talked about this as a family. We live in a small suburb of Rochester, a faculty ghetto of sorts where most residents like to think of themselves as tolerant and open to diversity.  My wife, whose skin is dark, is pulled over frequently by our local police; in nineteen years living here, I have never been pulled over.  It has been bad in the past.  There is no denying that.  But it is bad now, and it is getting worse even in the short time since the last election.  For too many white Americans, black lives do not matter.   Native lives, for too many of them, matter not at all. Too many white people view programs like affirmative action, intended to address past systematic injustices, as a threat.  And the people who hold these views? They know the president has their back.

I would like to think that we historians can make a difference, however small, by discussing this history in our classes. I do not see how one can understand American history in its complexity without doing so.  Few people read our work, I know.  But if we are to be effective educators, we must reach out.  We must have faith in the power of knowledge and reason and dialogue and debate.  We must write and teach with the urgency that comes from knowing that our words matter.  And in African-American History, or Native American history, we have the opportunity to explore the structural inequalities and profound injustices that have always rested at the core of this nation’s story.  We must be straight with our students.  Most of my colleagues are already doing this, but the urgency for doing this is growing. Cast away the comforting myths.  It is not our job to instill love of country, patriotism or civics.  We must counter this argument every chance we get. Leave that to the hacks and the partisans, the liars and the myth-makers and the members of the PTA.  We must defend what we do. We must be honest.  Look the evil in the eye.  Expose it to the light of day.  Name the evil, and show our students where it has manifested itself in the past, and the many forms it can take, the contortions and distortions it demands and justifies.  We will take some heat in doing this.  The dingbats and the right-wingers and some of the most conservative evangelicals and others will say that we are not doing our jobs, that we must stick to the facts.   And we cannot take these foolish charges sitting down. We must challenge those who denounce what we are doing with the meaningless and stupid epithet, “politically correct.” Debate these people.  Call them out, politely, professionally, but persistently. Only by standing tall can we help to inspire in our students the courage to speak out, to ask tough questions, and demand reasoned and relevant answers.  Only by doing so can we, in some small way, encourage them to confront and to resist the rottenness that has plagued this nation for far too long.