I write for scholarly and general readers about early American and Indigenous history topics.
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
Read about the book’s contributions to Native American Studies on Ploughshares
Hear why the book speaks to environmental considerations on Edge Effects
Learn about the background to this work in an interview with the Society of Early Americanists (as Scholar of the Month in November 2018)
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
“Materialities of Memory: Traces of Trauma and Resilience in the Native Northeast and Colonial New England.” Article forthcoming in English Language Notes, special issue on “Memory, Amnesia, Commemoration” (Fall 2019)
“Indigenous Stories in Stone: Mohegan Placemaking, Activism, and Colonial Encounters at the Royal Mohegan Burial Ground.” Article forthcoming in Native American and Indigenous Studies (Fall 2019)
“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
“Burl Bowls and Grinding Stones: Indigenous Materialities and Memorialization in the Native Northeast after King Philip’s War.” In Violence and Indigenous Communities: Confronting the Past, Engaging the Present edited collection, based on Newberry Library symposium (forthcoming)
“Indigenous Traces and Resistances in Colonial Archives: Some Reflections from the Native Northeast.” In Afterlives of Indigenous Archives, eds. Gordon Henry and Ivy Schweitzer (Dartmouth College Press/University Press of New England, forthcoming Sept. 2019)
Q&A about Memory Lands in forum, “The Ties of Historical Geography and Critical Indigenous Studies,” ed. Michael Wise, Historical Geography 46 (2018): 239-284
“The Vanishing Indians of ‘These Truths.’” Review of Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (WW Norton, 2018). The Los Angeles Review of Books, Jan. 10, 2019
“Telling Histories of Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Resistances.” Blog post about Francis Jennings’ The Invasion of America for Uncommon Sense (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture blog), July 30, 2018
“On ‘Slow History’: Decolonizing methodologies and the importance of responsive editorial processes.” Blog post for Uncommon Sense (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture blog), March 22, 2018
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)
“Collecting as Caretaking, Violence, and Entanglement in the Native/Colonial Northeast: Historical Roots and Contemporary Challenges”
“Powerful Currents and Submerged Shoals: Navigating Indigenous Maritime Histories.” Book review of Nancy Shoemaker, Native American Whalemen and the World: Indigenous Encounters and the Contingency of Race (University of North Carolina Press, 2015) and Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast (Yale University Press, 2016), for Reviews in American History 46:4 (Dec. 2018): 545-552
Book review of Susan Juster, Sacred Violence in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), for American Indian Culture and Research Journal 41:1 (2017)
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)