I write for scholarly and general readers about early American and Indigenous history topics.
I see writing as an ongoing conversation between an author and a community of readers. I approach both long- and short-form publication as processes of opening up new pathways, helping diverse stories attain visibility, and prompting fresh questions and reflections. I frequently think about practices of storytelling and knowledge-sharing, and the complex histories involved in using media to communicate. I invite readers to ruminate with me about the powerful effects of words--and images--as they circulate into the world.
My first book, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast, has been published by Yale University Press, in the Henry Roe Cloud series on American Indians and Modernity (Jan. 2018).
Listen to an interview about the book with Radio Boston on WBUR
Memory Lands revisits the pivotal Indigenous resistance movement and colonial crisis known as King Philip's War, which transformed the Native Northeast and colonial New England in the late seventeenth century (1675-1678). It retells the origins, nature, and consequences of this conflict, which has held lasting repercussions for tribal and Euro-American communities. As I demonstrate through a series of closely grounded case studies, the war and its legacies deeply affected communities' relationships with and understandings of place--particular lands and waters--and how they have envisioned their collective pasts as well as futures. Ranging from Deer Island in Boston Harbor, to Great Swamp near Narragansett Bay, to a waterfall on the Great (Connecticut) River, and all the way to the Bermuda Islands, the book invites readers on a gripping tour through the sometimes hidden stories of a region that remains contested ground in the twenty-first century.
The book draws upon over a dozen years of immersion in the landscapes, communities, and historical resources of the American Northeast. It reflects my research in more than 150 archives, museums, libraries, tribal collections, and other repositories of documents, publications, and objects. It also engages conversations with present-day descendant communities, whose memories and forms of knowledge are crucial conduits into the past and its reverberations.
ARTICLES & ESSAYS
“Fugitive Collections in New England Indian Country: Indigenous Material Culture and Early American History Making at Ezra Stiles’s Yale Museum.” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., Vol. 75, No. 1 (Jan. 2018): 109-150.
“An 'Indian Fishing Weir' at Musketaquid: Marking Northeastern Indigenous Homelands and Colonial Memoryscapes.” Gallery Essay. Environmental History, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Jan. 2018): 184-198.
“Antiquarian Collecting and the Transits of Indigenous Material Culture: Rethinking 'Indian Relics' and Tribal Histories.” Object Lessons feature, Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Spring 2017)
“Locating Kickemuit: Springs, Stone Memorials, and Contested Placemaking in the Northeastern Borderlands.” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, special issue on early American environments, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Spring 2015): 467-502.
“The Sound of Violence: Music of King Philip’s War and Memories of Settler Colonialism in the American Northeast.” Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life, special issue on early American music, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Winter 2013):
“Placing Joseph Bruchac: Native Literary Networks and Cultural Transmission in the Contemporary Northeast.” Studies in American Indian Literatures, special issue on Indigenous New England, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Fall 2012): 71-96.
“The Memory Frontier: Uncommon Pursuits of Past and Place in the Northeast after King Philip’s War.” The Journal of American History, Vol. 98, No. 4 (March 2012): 975-997
“Border Crossings: Telling Indian Histories at the Frontière.” Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, Vol. 16, No. 1 (March 2012): 134-139
“Getting the Story Straight: Press Coverage of Italian-American Lynchings from 1856-1910.” Italian Americana, Vol. 21, No. 2 (2003): 212-221
Historical preface to Robert Strong, Bright Advent, poetry collection on King Philip’s War (White Pine Press, 2017)
“Metacom’s Rebellion, 1675-1678,” in 50 Events that Shaped American Indian History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic, eds. Donna Martinez and Jennifer Williams Bordeaux (ABC-CLIO, 2017), 125-143
“Native American Land Use.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History, ed. Lynn Dumenil (Oxford University Press, 2012), 91-93
“History of the Schooner Ernestina.” Report for Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) Maritime Division, HAER No. MA-168 (2010). Filed in Built in America section of Library of Congress American Memory collection.
“A Place for All Seasons,” on Mount Auburn Cemetery. In A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World, ed. Bonnie Tsui (Sierra Club Books, 2007), 143-157
“What Does John Roberts’s Harvard History Thesis Tell Us About Him?” History News Network (July 26, 2005)
“Negotiating the Hyphen: An Evolving Definition of Italian-American Identity.” Italian Americana, Vol. 22, No. 2 (2004)
“Indigenous Traces and Resistances in Colonial Archives: Some Reflections from the Native Northeast”
“Burl Bowls and Grinding Stones: Indigenous Materialities and Memorialization in the Native Northeast after King Philip’s War”
“Collecting as Caretaking, Violence, and Entanglement in the Native/Colonial Northeast: Historical Roots and Contemporary Challenges”
[Forthcoming] Book review of Susan Fuster, Sacred Violence in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), for American Indian Culture and Research Journal (2018)
[Forthcoming] Book review of Ann M. Little, The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright (Yale University Press, 2016), for Journal of Social History (2018)
Book review of Ann Marie Plane, Dreams and the Invisible World in Colonial New England: Indians, Colonists, and the Seventeenth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), for History: Reviews of New Books Vol. 44, Iss. 4 (2016): 100-101
Book review of Jason W. Warren, Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), for Northeast Anthropology, No. 83/84 (2015): 215-216
Book review of Robert E. Cray, Lovewell’s Fight: War, Death, and Memory in Borderland New England (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014), for Historical New Hampshire (2016): 58-59
Book review of Katherine Grandjean, American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England (Harvard, 2014), for The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Winter 2015)
Book review of Heather Kopelson, Faithful Bodies: Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic (New York University, 2014), for The History Teacher, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Aug. 2015): 780-782
“Speaking Together: The Brothertown Indian Community and New Directions in Engaged Scholarship.” Review essay of David J. Silverman, Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America (Cornell, 2010), Craig N. Cipolla, Becoming Brothertown: Native American Ethnogenesis and Endurance in the Modern World (U. of Arizona, 2013), and recent work on engaged/decolonizing scholarship. Early American Literature, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Winter 2015): 167-187
Book review of Julie A. Fisher and David J. Silverman, Ninigret, Sachem of the Niantics and Narragansetts: Diplomacy, War, and the Balance of Power in Seventeenth-Century New England and Indian Country (Cornell, 2014), for The New England Quarterly, Vol. 87, No. 4 (Dec. 2014): 770-772
Book review of Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard, 2013), for Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Nov. 2014): 688-689
Book review of Annette Kolodny, In Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland, the Peoples of the Dawnland, and the Anglo-American Anxiety of Discovery (Duke, 2012), for The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Vol. 14, No. 3 (winter 2013)