‘Our Own Ground to Rest Upon’: Seneca Indians, the 1779 Sullivan Expedition, and the Reconstruction of Indigenous Homelands through Agriculture after Forced Migrations

Delivered at the annual American Ethnological Society Conference in Washington, D.C. in April 2016 In the late summer of 1779, Continental Army troops under Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton invaded the territory of the Seneca Indians in upstate New York with the express purpose of ‘punishing’ them for their attacks against American frontier settlements … Continue reading ‘Our Own Ground to Rest Upon’: Seneca Indians, the 1779 Sullivan Expedition, and the Reconstruction of Indigenous Homelands through Agriculture after Forced Migrations

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‘I Ain’t the Same’: Anti-Heroism and Violence in 21st Century Westerns

Delivered at the annual PCA/ACA National Conference in Seattle, Washington in March 2016 For much of the early twentieth century, violence in Westerns was differentiated along gendered and racial lines to construct an image of nineteenth-century frontiersmen as paragons of American exceptionalist excellence that defended white ‘civilization’ from non-white ‘savagery’ through selective acts of ‘noble’ … Continue reading ‘I Ain’t the Same’: Anti-Heroism and Violence in 21st Century Westerns

‘Civilization or Death to All Savages’: Soldiers, Indians, and Congress’s War on the Revolutionary Frontier

Delivered at the annual Society for Military History Conference in Kansas City, Missouri in April 2014 US Indian policies during the Revolutionary War were in large part characterized by efforts at cultural conversion. Some historians have noted the practical considerations of such policies.[1] While significant, however, it is also important to apprehend that the Indian … Continue reading ‘Civilization or Death to All Savages’: Soldiers, Indians, and Congress’s War on the Revolutionary Frontier

‘Die by Their Guns First’: D.C. Slaves, the War of 1812, and Historical Memory in the Wake of the Civil War

Delivered at the annual Southern Labor Studies Association Conference in Washington, D.C. in March 2015 In many ways, the former slave Paul Jennings’ A Colored Man’s Reminiscences on James Madison is highly unusual. Published in 1865 by President James Madison’s former “body servant,” Reminiscences covers a scant two-dozen pages and has received even more scant … Continue reading ‘Die by Their Guns First’: D.C. Slaves, the War of 1812, and Historical Memory in the Wake of the Civil War

‘To Save the Soul of America’: Justifying the Vietnam War in History, Society, and Memory

Delivered at the annual Graduate Student History Conference at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in February, 2013 The Vietnam War has long been disputed terrain in American history and memory. As early as the late 1960s, scholars and activists like Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Frances Fitzgerald were arguing that the war was an … Continue reading ‘To Save the Soul of America’: Justifying the Vietnam War in History, Society, and Memory

The Million ‘Mortal Sins’: Marco Polo’s Travels and European Conceptions of Asian Cultures

Delivered at the annual Graduate Student Symposium at Perdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in March 2013 When Marco Polo’s account of his travels throughout Asia was released in the year 1299 (originally entitled Il Milione or The Million, a reference to the sheer numbers of people and riches described within) his descriptions of “heathen” … Continue reading The Million ‘Mortal Sins’: Marco Polo’s Travels and European Conceptions of Asian Cultures

Fathers of Progress: Quakers, Masculinity, the American Revolution, and the Birth of Reform

Delivered at the annual Graduate Student History Conference at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada in September 2012 Little research has been done on the role of Quaker men as conscientious objectors during the American Revolution.[i] The few works that do exist on the subject do little more than lump them with British loyalists, despite … Continue reading Fathers of Progress: Quakers, Masculinity, the American Revolution, and the Birth of Reform