Memory Lands | Violence and Indigenous Communities

Christine M. DeLucia, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018).

Noted historian Christine DeLucia offers a major reconsideration of the violent seventeenth-century conflict in northeastern America known as King Philip’s War, providing an alternative to Pilgrim-centric narratives that have conventionally dominated the histories of colonial New England. DeLucia grounds her study of one of the most devastating conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers in early America in five specific places that were directly affected by the crisis, spanning the Northeast as well as the Atlantic world. She examines the war’s effects on the everyday lives and collective mentalities of the region’s diverse Native and Euro-American communities over the course of several centuries, focusing on persistent struggles over land and water, sovereignty, resistance, cultural memory, and intercultural interactions. An enlightening work that draws from oral traditions, archival traces, material and visual culture, archaeology, literature, and environmental studies, this study reassesses the nature and enduring legacies of a watershed historical event.
Christine M. DeLucia is associate professor of history at Mount Holyoke College and lives in western Massachusetts.

Encompassing centuries of ancestral Algonquian history, Memory Lands offers a revolutionary rewriting of history via the study of topophilia — women’s and men’s senses of place, and their attachment to place — to offer an ethnohistorical account of how Algonquian communities have reconstituted their experience as colonized people. Most impressively, DeLucia makes these moves in order to forefront Algonquian peoples’ understanding of memory, loss, and history. Focusing on the conflict known as King Philip’s War, the book provides astute analysis of how Algonquian people commemorated this event, and how English colonizers and their descendants simultaneously maintained their own narratives of it in ways that served to erase Indigenous history. Drawing upon material objects, oral histories, archaeological data, proceedings of memorial associations, newspapers, photographs, diaries, property documentation, and local government records, Memory Lands offers an unconventional and revealing configuration of history that allows the author to demonstrate that there are sites where people make memories, and places where they grapple with history, and that these sites shape our understanding of change over time. A breathtaking study of remembrance and place which lies at the intersection of multiple fields, Memory Lands offers a major contribution to American Studies, US History, North American Ethnohistory, and Memory Studies. 

This heady, powerful book urges us to rethink the ways that we practice history, especially of topics that are simultaneously so painful and so important.

** coming in 2021

Violence and Indigenous Communities: Confronting the Past and Engaging the Present

In contrast to past studies that focus narrowly on war and massacre, treat Native peoples as victims, and consign violence safely to the past, this interdisciplinary collection of essays opens up important new perspectives. While recognizing the long history of genocidal violence against Indigenous peoples, the contributors emphasize the agency of individuals and communities in genocide's aftermath and provide historical and contemporary examples of activism, resistance, identity formation, historical memory, resilience, and healing. The collection also expands the scope of violence by examining the eyewitness testimony of women and children who survived violence, the role of Indigenous self-determination and governance in inciting violence against women, and settler colonialism's promotion of cultural erasure and environmental destruction. By including contributions on Indigenous peoples in the United States, Canada, the Pacific, Greenland, Sápmi, and Latin America, the volume breaks down nation-state and European imperial boundaries to show the value of global Indigenous frameworks. Connecting the past to the present, this book confronts violence as an ongoing problem and identifies projects that mitigate and push back against it.


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