TSRC PhD student Heather Hatton reflects on Cumberland Lodge
New Essays on Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Sovereignty
New essays by Charles Prior and Heather Hatton appear along with a brief introduction by Pekka Hämäläinen in the Journal of Early American History.
Charles W. A. Prior, ‘Beyond Settler Colonialism: State Sovereignty in Early America’.
Abstract: This paper offers a critical reflection on the appropriateness of ‘settler colonialism’ as an analytic category for understanding the political dynamics of early America. It argues that the paradigm’s focus on the elimination of the native obscures the resil-ience of Indian power, and the mechanisms by which that power was exercised and defended. The paper positions settler colonialism in recent treatments of the history of colonial political thought, and then presents diplomacy as a site of both sovereign formation and negotiation that enhanced the power of colonies as much as it pre-served the power of Indian confederations. The final section of the paper suggests that the ‘interior’ sovereignty of Native Americans continued to shape the powers of the new republican order of states.
Heather K. Hatton, ‘Narrating Sovereignty: The Covenant Chain in Intercultural Diplomacy’.
Abstract: This article considers Haudenosaunee recitals of the history of the Covenant Chain as a powerful communicative mechanism to define and assert sovereign identity and rights in the context of intercultural diplomacy. It reflects initially on the metaphorical language used to structure these historical narratives and how it enabled the Haudenosaunee to articulate self-understandings of their sovereignty. Contending that the narrative’s main power stemmed from its application in specific diplomatic contexts, the article then examines three instances when the Haudenosaunee recounted the entire history of the Chain during mid-eighteenth century treaty councils with the British. It explores the reasons underpinning the narrative’s use on these occasions and its overall implications. Finally, the article discusses the adoption of the narrative by one British diplomat, Sir William Johnson, considering his motivations for using the Covenant Chain and its intended effects.
British Academy Global Professorship
We are pleased to announce that we will be joined by Professor Gregory Smithers as British Academy Global Professor starting in early 2020. His work with us will explore how threats to our well-being posed by climate change can be addressed by drawing upon indigenous knowledges rooted in the deep past. The project will compare two ecologically important regions transformed by colonialism: the homelands of the Cherokee in the Appalachians of the United States, and those of the Ngarigo and Walgal peoples of the Great Dividing Range in Australia. Using settler and indigenous sources, it will map a ‘genealogy’ of indigenous ecologies in order to construct the first deep history of a set of indigenous responses to fluctuations in climate. Greg says: ‘I was thrilled to win a Global Professorship from the British Academy and am excited about joining an impressive team of interdisciplinary scholars at the University of Hull. The Treatied Spaces research cluster provides a unique opportunity to elevate the voices, traditions, and action of Indigenous people from the past. By better understanding the rich history of Indigenous communities in North America and Australia we can gain critical insights that will help us meet the environmental, cultural, technological, and political challenges of the twenty-first century’.
Joy Porter comments on Wes Studi’s Academy Award
New Colleague: Dr Kristofer Ray
We are pleased to welcome Dr Kristofer Ray who has been appointed to a three-year lectureship in North American Indigenous History. He joins us from the University of Mississippi, and brings a wide experience of high-quality teaching in a number of institutions, including the Program in Native American Studies at Dartmouth College.
Cumberland Lodge Scholarship
Congratulations to Heather Hatton, who is one of ten recipients of a Cumberland Lodge Scholarship for 2019-21. This programme offers doctoral students based at UK universities the opportunity to set themselves apart, by honing their public engagement, communications and event facilitation skills. They have the chance to network with senior figures in public life and to participate in, or help to lead discussions with, people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives that ultimately inform recommendations for practical action and policy change.
Aylmer Lecture: The American Environment
Joy Porter delivered this year’s Aylmer Lecture at the University of York on the 13th of June 2019. The topic was The American Environment: Histories of Conflict over Water, Energy, and Treatied Space.