Joy Porter_Sept 2018

Professor Joy Porter

Professor of Indigenous History

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

01482 465465

Professor Porter is an interdisciplinary researcher and teacher of Native American Indian history in relation to war, modernity, literature and the environment. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the University cluster Treatied Spaces: Environment & Peoples in America, 1607-1890.

Her work has benefited from awards from the Fulbright Commission, AHRC, British Academy and Leverhulme Trust. She begins a 3-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on 1 September 2019. 

Professor Porter was appointed to the AHRC Strategic Review College, 2016-2020, and reviews for the Leverhulme Trust, Fulbright Commission, NERC, and Higher Education Academy.

Her next book is The Native American Poet of the First World War and her latest book was Native American Environmentalism (2014).

Joy Porter is a member of REF 2021 Sub-panel 28 (History) as sub-panel Interdisciplinary Advisor. Her appointment is for the duration of the REF 2021 exercise.


Research Interests

  • Native American Indian treaties, history, war, modernity, literature & the environment.

Research groups

Professor Porter is currently Co-Principal Investigator of the University of Hull research cluster Treatied Spaces: Environment & Peoples in America, 1607-1890.

She was previously Principal Investigator on a 2011 research project, funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, entitled The American Presidency and Tribal Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century.

She is collaborating with 2018 British Academy Visiting Fellow Dale Turner, Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire on a project entitled “A Tradition of Anishinaabe Diplomacy: indigenous Spirituality in Anishinaabe Constitutionalism”.

Prior to this, she was Principal Investigator on a 2010 research project, funded by an AHRC Research Fellowship, entitled The American Indian Poet of the First World War: Modernism and the Indian Identity of Frank ‘Toronto’ Prewett 1893-1962. This project allowed her to write the first book to make serious, conceptual arguments about Native American identity on both sides of the Atlantic during and after the First World War.


Research Monographs:

1.       The Native American Poet of the First World War: Primitivism, Trauma and Modernity in the Life of Frank “Toronto” Prewett, 1893-1962, University of Toronto Press, 2019, in press & under contract.

This is the story of an ordinary, extraordinary man, Frank “Toronto” Prewett. He was ordinary in the sense that he fought and was traumatized by the first world war and his poetry about it was published.  His literary peers were less ordinary. They were the group of first world war poets brought into critical relief in 1975 by Paul Fussell, - Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves. This group, often thought of as quintessentially English poets, remain “figures of memory’ in Jan Assmann’s phrase, standing in symbolic guard over the cultural memory of the war. This first book-length analysis of Canada’s premier poet of trauma from combat brings into focus a figure whose Native identity was deeply significant to his literary peers.

 2.       Nixon and Native American Indian Tribal Détente, University of Nebraska Press, 2019, under contract, forthcoming

This book is the first to apply the concept of ‘détente’ to Nixon’s creation of a new framework for Native American federal relations. It uses newly released archives to identify Nixon as the first president to return Indian land and to establish Indian sovereign determination within federal law. Where the conventional focus has been on Red Power protest as the agent of change, it instead explores effective channels of Indian diplomacy tied directly to the White House. The result is a new understanding of Nixon, of tribal America and of ‘détente’ as a means of achieving political and social change in the 1970s. 

  1. 3.       Native American Environmentalism, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014

Selected reviews: Interdisciplinary Studies , Vol. 21, 2014, pp.712-13, Environmental Values, 24, 5, 2015, pp.689-691, Kansas History, Vol. 38, No.1 Spring, 2015 

  1. 4.       Land & Spirit in Native AmericaWestport, CT: Praeger Press, 2012 
  1. 5.       Native American Freemasonry:Associationalism & Performance in America, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011 (500 pages), Paperback, Fall, 2019. Read chapter excerpt here

Selected reviews: Journal of American History Vol. 99, No.3, 2012; Pacific Historical Review, Vol.82, No.1, 2013, pp.143-44, Nova Religio, Vol. 17, No.2, Nov. 2013, pp.123-126, The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Vol.32, No.2, 2012 

  1. 6.       To Be Indian: The Life of Iroquois-Seneca Arthur Caswell Parker(Foreword by William N. Fenton), Norman: The University of Oklahoma Press, 2001

Selected reviews: Journal of American Ethnic History, Vol. 22, No.2, Winter, 2003, Journal of American History, Vol. 89, No.4, Mar. 2003, History News, Vol.57, No.4, Autumn 2002, p.30, New York History, Vol. 84, No.1, Winter 2003, pp.109-111, Ethnohistory, Vol. 51, No.4, Fall, 2004, pp.836-8, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Vol. 17, No.3, Fall, 2005, pp.12-23, Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, Vol.41, Spring 2015 

Edited Books: 

(ed.) Place and Native American Indian History and Culture, Foreword by Alan Trachtenberg, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007 

(co-ed. With K. Roemer), The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature, Cambridge University Press, July 2005 (UK) and August 2005 (US). 


Competing Voices from Native America (Fighting Words Series), Joy Porter [50%] & Dewi Ball, Oxford & Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood Press, 2009 

Journal Articles:

 “Native American Indian Freemasonry and Its Relation to the Performative Turn within Contemporary American Scholarship”, Journal of American Studies, 0. (2012), 0, 1-20. Doi: 10.1017/S0021875812000795. Center for Digital Display Kansas U PDF

 "A Death Toll Beyond Imagining." The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience. ABC-CLIO,2010. <

“Primitive” Discourse: Aspects of Contemporary North American Indian Representations of the Irish and of Contemporary Irish Representations of North American Indians “, American Studies [A tri-annual interdisciplinary journal sponsored by the Mid-America American Studies Association and the University of Kansas], Fall/Winter 2008, Volume 49, Number 3/4, pp. 63-86 Hyperlink

 “Jimmy Carter: The Re-emergence of Faith-based Politics and the Abortion Rights Issue”, with Andrew Flint, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Volume 35, Number 1, March 2005. [50% contribution to 12,500 words]                                                                                                                       

“The North American Indians and the Irish”, Irish Studies Review, Volume 11, Number 3, December 2003: 263-273

 “Arthur Caswell Parker, 1881-1955: Indian American Museum Professional”, New York History, Vol.81, No.2, April 2000, PP.211-236


Guest Edited Journal: 

European Review of Native American Studies, 20 (1), 2006, Edited & Introduced by Joy Porter, p.1-3, Foreword by Helen Carr.                                                                                               

Book Chapters: 

 “‘The Laws of War and Peace in North America, to 1800’, Saliha Belmessous, ed. The Cambridge Companion to International Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020, forthcoming 

“Treatied Space: American Indian Treaties in Global Context” in Anne McGrath & Lynette Russell eds., Companion to Indigenous Global History, New York: Routledge, 2018, forthcoming 

“Horror and Aspects of Native American Indian Literature”, in K. Costorphine & L. Kremmel, The Handbook to Horror Literature. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 

“Progressivism and Native Identities” inGregory D. Smithers & Brooke N. Newman, eds., Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014 

“Native American Indian Freemasons” Catalogue Introduction for Exhibition Corto Maltese et les secrets de L’initiation by Hugo Pratt for Museum of Freemasonry, Paris. Catalogue editor: Pierre Mollier, 2010 

"Modernism, Authenticity and Indian Identity: Frank 'Toronto' Prewett (1893-1962)" in Deborah L. Madsen, ed. Native Authenticity:  Transatlantic Approaches to Native

American Literature Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010                                                                                                                                               

'Native American Fiction'in David Seeds (ed.) Companion to 20th Century US Fiction, Oxford: Blackwell, 2009 

 “Population Matters in Native America” in America’s Americans: Population Issues in U.S. Society and Politics, edited by Philip Davies & Iwan Morgan, London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, School of Advanced Study,2007 

“History and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes”, p.57-71 in Laura Coltelli (Ed.) Reading Leslie Marmon Silko. Critical Perspectives through Gardens in the Dunes, University of Pisa Press, 2007 

“Historical and cultural contexts to Native American literature” in The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature, Eds. Joy Porter & Kenneth Roemer (University of Texas), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 39-69 

“On Full-Stoppers and Semi-Colonials: Writer’s Reflections on Native American Literature”, in Hans Bak et al., First Nations of North America: Politics and Representations, European Contributions to American Studies, Amsterdam: VU University Press (2005) 

“Imagining Indians: New Directions in Native American History” in Melvyn Stokes (Ed.), The State of U.S. History, Berg Press, 2002 

In Translation:

“Indiens et franc-maçonnerie: une vision performative de l’historire américaine” /“Native American Indian Freemasonry and the Performative Turn within U.S. History”, Race & the Body in Anglophone Context/ Race et corps dans L’aire Anglophone, Michel Prum, ed. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2008, p.113-135


Review Essays:

 2017      Blood and Land in History Today 

2016       “Native America’s Post-War History in Ten Works of Art”, History Today 

2016       “From the Desk of..”  National Parks Find -Your -Park Initiative 

2015       “Succotash”, Times Literary Supplement 

2015       Reviews, Journal of American Studies, Vol 49, Issue 4, Nov., pp.907-910. 

2012       “Introduction to the Folio Edition of Dee Brown’s Folktales of the Native American” 

Short reviews in: Journal of American History, Journal of American Studies, History Today, American Studies, Studies in American Indian Literature, History



2011                       “Taking Poetic License with Native Ancestry”, National Post, Canada.

2011                       New Books Network Broadcast (Amherst College Press).


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Into the Wild - The Environment and American Cultural History in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond     

  • Animal Histories

  • Dissertation

Research PhDs

Joy Porter welcomes enquiries on all aspects of indigenous studies and US environmentalism.

Completed PhDs 

Susannah Hopson, (2017), The Process of Memory: A Comparative Study of Native American Massacre Sites, 1863-1864.

Current Supervisions

Edward Mair, Native American Slaveholding and Biracial Alliance Amongst Native American Indian and African Americans 1500-Present. Supervisors: Professor Joy Porter, Professor John Oldfield.

Juli Schlag, Trees in Indigenous America in Historical and Biological Context. Supervisors: Professor Joy Porter, Professor Roland Ennos.

Heather Hatton, Treatied Narrativity.

Mark Millard, Overlapping Sovereignties and Treatied Space.

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • University Nominee HEA National Teaching Award

  • Best Module Award for 'Into the Wild', University of Hull Student Union

  • National Teaching Fellowship, 2018

  • Fellowship Video



Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, American Studies, 1994

  • MA, American Studies, 1990

  • BA (Hons) Humanities, 1989

External roles

  • REF 2021 Interdisciplinary Panel Member (Sub-Panel 28, History) 
  • AHRC Strategic Review Panel Member, 2017-2020

  • Fulbright Ambassador & Review Panel Member (History) Fulbright U.S.-U.K. Educational Commission

  • Review Panel Member (NTF/CATE) Higher Education Academy

Awards and accolades

  • 2019-2022 Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, PI, ‘What Would Nixon Do?: The Forgotten Republican Roots of American Environmentalism’
  • 2018 British Academy Visiting Fellowship (collaboration with Professor Dale Turner, Department of Native Studies, Dartmouth)
  • 2015 Fulbright All-Disciplines Scholar Award, Department of Native Studies, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, PI “The Native American Way of War”
  • 2011 British Academy Mid-Career Research Fellowship, PI “Tribal Diplomacy and the Twentieth Century American Presidency”
  • 2010 Arts & Humanities Research Council Fellowship, PI for research project: “The American Indian Poet of the First World War: Modernism and the Indian Identity of Frank ‘Toronto’ Prewett 1892-1962”
  • 2008 British Academy Overseas Conference Attendance Grant
  • 2007 Research Travel Award, British Association of Canadian Studies
  • 2007 Travel Award, Association of Canadian Studies in the United States
  • 2006 Canadian Government Faculty Research Program Grant
  • 2006 British Academy Conference Grant, 27th Annual American Indian Workshop: “Place and Native American Indian History, Culture and Literature”
  • 2001 Leverhulme Research Fellowship, PI, Native American Freemasonry

Professional highlights

2019 Invited Lectures & Keynotes: 

  1. University of York Alymer Lecture, 13 June: “The American Environment: Histories of Conflict Over Energy, Water & Treatied Space”.

  2. Eccles- British Association of Canadian Studies Keynote Lecture, European Association of American Studies Conference, 11-13 April: “American Land: Food Security & Treatied Space”.

  3. Swiss Association of North American Studies Symposium Keynote, University of Geneva, Nov. 2019: “Decolonizing Water”.

Professor Porter joined the Faculty of the Department of Native Studies at Dartmouth, 2015-16 as a Fulbright Scholar.

She delivered the 2015 lecture in celebration of Native American Heritage Month at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; spoke for the Department of History at West Point Military Academy and at the Native American Cultural Center, Yale University, Connecticut for the Yale Group for the Study of Native America.

Professor Porter also delivered the 2013 Sankey Lecture at Brock University, Canada