New York State Pow-wow

Joy is helping to deepen understanding of indigenous history

Professor Joy Porter is a world-renowned, interdisciplinary researcher and teacher of indigenous history relating to the environment, war, modernity, literature and cultures.

She is currently a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow working on a new book on the environmental record of President Nixon and the Republican Party, and is also PI of the 3-year AHRC-funded project Brightening the Covenant Chain: Revealing Cultures of Diplomacy between the Crown and the Iroquois Confederacy.

New York State Pow-wow
New York State Pow-wow
This project, the first of its kind in terms of depth and scope, uses treaties as lenses to reveal cultures of diplomatic interaction between the Crown and indigenous peoples that are rooted in the 17th century but of increasing global significance today.
Professor Joy Porter

Professor Joy Porter

Professor of Indigenous and Environmental History

Joy’s work has benefited from awards from the Fulbright Commission, British Academy and the Canadian Government as well as the AHRC and Leverhulme Trust. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the University Cluster Treatied Spaces: Environment & Peoples in America, 1607-1890 and PI Host for British Academy Global Professor Gregory Smithers, 2020-2024, working on "Native Ecologies: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Climate Change". Professor Porter also convenes the “Living With/Out Water” cluster within the Leverhulme Doctoral Centre for Water Cultures.

As a commentator, she makes regular appearances on TV and radio and contributes to cultural debate through written articles. She is a regular contributor to History Today, BBC TV News Global The Conversation, BBC World Service, BBC News, BBC Radio, The Times and The Observer.

More recently, Joy wrote this article for the Spectator, reasoning how the multi award-winning film Banshees of Inisherin perpetuates falsehoods about Ireland's history.

Porter, Joy All disciplines Scholar Award profile

Professor Joy Porter

Professor of Indigenous and Environmental History

Joy is a UK REF 2021  and REF Interdisciplinary Advisor to Main Panel D. She serves on the AHRC Strategic Review College, 2016-2024, reviews and interviews for the Fulbright Commission, and reviews for the Leverhulme Trust, NERC, Finnish Research Council and Higher Education Academy. She is External Examiner for BA History, University of Bristol and co-supervises doctoral students with the British Library and English Heritage. She is also convenes the cluster on “Living With/out Water” within the University of Hull Leverhulme Doctoral Centre for Water Cultures.

Canadian Environment
Our work seeks to inform contemporary public understanding and shape academic and policy discussions of indigenous rights and historical experience in a global context.
Joy Porter

Professor Joy Porter

Professor of Indigenous and Environmental History

Joy is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and in 2018 was awarded an AdvanceHE National Teaching Fellowship. She supervises a range of doctoral candidates working on: Indigenous Environmental History, Culture & Literature; Modernity & war; US & Canadian Environmental Studies; Digital Humanities, Indigenous Data Curation and Indigenous Links to English Country House Material Culture.

What challenges are you addressing through the Treatied Spaces cluster?

We seek to explore the ways in which treaties concluded between indigenous peoples and settlers, colonial, and federal governments shed light on questions of sovereignty; the possession of land; the use of space and the environment; the movements of peoples and goods; and pathways of war and disease.

What new knowledge will this research bring?

The aim is to deepen our understanding of treaties as instruments of diplomacy and conquest and to present them as contested and dynamic historical documents which remain central to contemporary debates on social and environmental justice in both American and trans-national context.

What are your ambitions for your research in the coming years?

Over the next three years, the Treatied Spaces cluster will expand our collaborations, with a particular focus on the environmental, legal, and political frameworks in which relationships between indigenous communities and post-colonial states intersect.

Why are you interested in using digital platforms to present the findings of your research?

Digital platforms, such as soundscapes, enhance our research capacity and drive Knowledge Exchange. 

Community Impact


Porter, J. (2021). Trauma, Primitivism and the First World War: The Making of Frank Prewett. London: Bloomsbury Press


Frank 'Toronto' Prewett (2020): Journal Article

Porter, J. (2020). Frank 'Toronto' Prewett. War Poetry Review, 2020(1), 13-23


Native American Indian freemasonry (2020): Book Chapter

Porter, J. (2020). Native American Indian freemasonry. In F. Jacob, & H. Reinalter (Eds.), Masonic lodges and their impact in North and South America (71-89) . Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann


Who Fights for Canada as the Climate Changes? (2020): Book

Porter, J. (2020). Who Fights for Canada as the Climate Changes?. London: British Library


Treatied spaces: North American indigenous treaties in global context (2019):

Book Chapter

Porter, J. (in press). Treatied spaces: North American indigenous treaties in global context. In Companion to Indigenous Global History. Routledge


Native America: A New Narrative (2019)

Porter, J. (2019). Native America: A New Narrative. History Today


The power of metaphorical language in treaty diplomacy (2019): Report

Hatton, H., & Porter, J. The power of metaphorical language in treaty diplomacy. UNESCO


The horror genre and aspects of Native American Indian literature (2018): Book Chapter

Porter, J. (2018). The horror genre and aspects of Native American Indian literature. In K. Corstorphine, & L. Kremmel (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook to Horror Literature (45-60). London: Palgrave Macmillan. 


The Story of Native North America (2017)

Porter, J. (2017). The Story of Native North America. History Today