British Academy Global Professorship, Professor Gregory Smithers
‘Native Ecologies: A Deep History of Climate Change’.
Project dates: January 2020-December 2024.
This project seeks to explore how threats to our well-being posed by climate change can be addressed by drawing upon indigenous knowledges rooted in the deep past. It compares 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, Professor Gregory Smithers 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. The project will result in the publication of a research monograph that forges connections between the history of indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and conventional science-based responses to climate change.
Project Collaborations: Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Islander Studies, Australian Research Council Linkage Project, Australia Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water, University of Sydney, Australia National University, University of Newcastle-Australia, Native American STEM Faculty-University of Montana, University of Colorado, University of Washington, National Museum of the American Indian-Washington
Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, Professor Joy Porter
‘What would Nixon do? The Forgotten Roots of American Environmentalism’.
Project Dates: September 2019-September 2022
At a critical juncture in environmental history, when conventional warnings are dismissed by conservative voters as ‘fake news’, the project will engage with conservative and Republican traditions by asking: ‘What Would Nixon Do?’ It will examine the Nixon presidency and its remarkable environmental advances using Native American Indian Federal history as a lens. The project will bring together archives new to scholarship in order to foreground a conservative revolution in environmental protection and Native rights that today is downplayed by the Trump administration. The resulting interdisciplinary book will appear with The University of Nebraska Press with the intention of influencing a spectrum of interests that are currently conducting separate conversations.
AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the British Library, Rebecca Slatcher
‘North American Indigenous Languages in the British Library’s Post-1850 Collections’.
Project Dates: October 2019-October 2023
This project engages with current debates about the role of cultural institutions in collecting preserving and promoting indigenous languages. The doctoral student works with the BL Digital Scholarship and Metadata Services teams to carry out metadata cleaning of nineteenth-century sources. The intention is to promote and make discoverable the indigenous materials within BL collections, and to position the Library at the forefront of research into a pressing global concern: how twenty-first century museums can address pressing post-colonial societal challenges through indigenizing both digital humanities research and collection practice.
British Academy Visiting Fellowship, Professor Dale Turner
‘A Tradition of Anishinaabe Diplomacy: Indigenous Spirituality in Anishinaabe Constitutionalism’
Project Dates: August 2018-February 2019
During this fellowship, Professor Turner made intellectually generative use of the archival pathways available via the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster at the University of Hull. Turner also explored materials held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the Pitt Rivers Museum. Turner’s time at the Pitt Rivers prompted consideration of how treaties relate to museum collection provenance and practice and he also visited the British Library, London and explored their North American post-1850s and map collections. As a direct result of his fellowship, Turner was able to publish a high-profile review essay on a key treaty theory text on The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties, ed. John Borrows & Michael Coyle, 2017 submitted to the Queen’s Law Journal. Fellowship activities also helped Turner finalise and submit a book proposal to the University of Toronto Press titled, A Genealogy of Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty and Nationhood in Canada: 1966 to 2015. Additionally, Turner engaged with high profile lecturing events, hosting the School of History’s Annual Public History Lecture ‘Cowboys and Indians: A 21st Century Western’, speaking on the history of North American treaties and their entangled relationship with the British Crown. He also gave the Keynote lecture at the World Indigenous Research and Education Conference in Guovdageaidnu, Sápmi, Norway: ‘Reflections on the Politics of Indigenous Knowledge’ as well as presenting a series of postgraduate workshops at Hull, Sussex and Oxford University. Dale continues to work with TSRC as a Co-I on ‘Brightening the Covenant Chain’ where he will be specifically working with museums to provide insight and better understandings of indigenous holdings and as a co-supervisor on the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award partnership.
Leverhulme Research Fellowship, Dr Charles W. A. Prior
‘Conquest and the ‘Right to Hold’: Territorial Sovereignty and the American Revolution’.
Project Dates: September 2017- December 2018
Historians hold these truths to be self-evident: that the ideological origins of the American Revolution lie in arguments about political rights, which were conducted exclusively within English and European frameworks of political ideas. This project takes a different approach and situates conflict over land at the centre of a contest between settlers, Indians, colonial governors and the Crown. Offering the first sustained analysis of treaties and laws that structured the relationship between settlers and Indians, it recovers a long history of ‘conquest’ that Thomas Jefferson claimed as the basis of ‘the right to hold’ and rule territory.