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Lamar Center Faculty

John Mack Faragher

John Mack Faragher is Arthur Unobskey Professor of History, Professor of American Studies, and Director of the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in southern California, where he attended the University of California, Riverside (B.A., 1967), and did social work, before coming to Yale (Ph.D., 1977). After fifteen years as a professor at Mount Holyoke College he returned to Yale in 1993. His books include Women and Men on the Overland Trail (1979); Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie (1986);...
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Jay Gitlin

Jay Gitlin is a Lecturer in History and the Associate Director of the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders at Yale University. Although a native New Yorker, Jay Gitlin became fascinated with the history of the French in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes as an undergraduate at Yale and has pursued that interest ever since. This interest culminated in his book, The Bourgeois Frontier: French Towns, French Traders, and American Expansion (Yale University Press, 2010). He has published numerous articles and contributed chapters to the Oxford...
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Howard Roberts Lamar

It is impossible to feel uncomfortable around Howard Lamar. This most genial of men immediately puts you at ease with a smile, an amusing story, and a genuine desire to know about you. Howard Lamar is, by nature, a family man – profoundly inclusive, supportive, and relational. Combine such qualities with Howard’s broad intellectual scope and the humane sensitivity he brings to the study of the American West, and you begin to understand why generations of students, alumni, and colleagues have such affection for Howard and consider him to be Yale’s first citizen and a...
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Ned Blackhawk

Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale and was on the faculty from 1999 to 2009 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A graduate of McGill University, he holds graduate degrees in History from UCLA and the University of Washington and is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the early American West(Harvard, 2006), a study of the American Great Basin that garnered half a dozen professional prizes, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians. In addition...
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Alejandra Dubcovsky-Joseph

Alejandra Dubcovsky-Joseph forthcoming book, tentatively titled Colonial Communication, Networks of Information in the American South from Pre-Contact to 1740 (Harvard University Press), focuses on the acquisition and transmission of news in a pre-postal, pre-printing press colonial world. Dubcovsky’s other publications include: “One Hundred Sixty- One Knots, Two Plates, and One Emperor: Creek Information Networks in the Era of the Yamasee War,” Ethnohistory 59.3 (Summer 2012)...
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Lamar Center Students

Ally Brantley

My dissertation – “Givin’ Up Our Beer for Sweeter Wine”: The Boycott of Coors Beer, Interracial Coalition-Building, and the Making of Business Conservatism, 1957-1987 – will examine the building of a diverse coalition around the Coors boycott and implications for labor, business, and social movements from the late 1950s to the 1980s. I argue that the boycott deserves attention as a creative organizing tool within an increasingly conservative political environment, and the Coors Brewing Company and family merit attention for their roles at the vanguard of...
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Arielle Gorin

My project examines a series of border crossings and conflicts in the Pacific Northwest between the 1846 Oregon Treaty and British Columbia’s 1871 entry into the new Canadian confederation. This time and place saw intense territorial contestation among British colonial officials, the Hudson’s Bay Company, American miners and local bureaucrats, the United States government, and several very different native groups (most notably the Haida, Tsilhqot'in, and Salish groups along the Fraser River and its tributaries) that had their own fraught histories of alliances and conflicts....
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Holly Guise

Holly Guise is a History Ph.D. candidate studying 20th century Alaska Native history, Alaska Native women's history, and the fluidity and fixity of racial, cultural, and social boundaries between Natives and non-Natives.

In 2009, Holly graduated with a B.A.H. in Native American Studies and a minor in History from Stanford University, where her research focused on the formation of racial boundaries that segregated the Alaska Native population through the early 20th century and even after the 1945 Alaska Equal Rights Act. After graduation she worked for several years as a...
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Ryan Hall

My dissertation is currently titled Blackfoot Country: The Making and Unmaking of the Northern Plains Fur Trade, 1782-1870. My research focuses mostly on the Blackfoot peoples of what is now Montana and Alberta during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. For nearly a century, the Blackfeet maintained a central position in the North American fur trade, and were a crucial trading partner for British, Canadian and American fur companies. At the same time, they rose to a position of unquestioned dominance among Indian peoples on the northwestern plains. My dissertation explores...
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Sarah Koenig

My research explores the relationships between myth and history in the American West. In my dissertation, I trace the historical legacy of Marcus Whitman, a nineteenth-century Protestant missionary to the Cayuse Indians in Oregon Territory. After his death in 1847, Whitman was lauded by American Protestants as a missionary martyr, and legends about his bravery and patriotism circulated throughout the United States, appearing everywhere from sermons to pageants to popular magazines. In making Whitman into a national hero, the “Paul Revere of the West,” Anglo-Americans in the...
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Christine Mathias

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, nation states across the Americas used the repeating rifle and the railroad to crush the resistance of independent indigenous groups. From Argentine General Julio Roca’s 1879 Conquest of the Desert to the 1890 Battle of Wounded Knee in the United States, these stories of late-nineteenth-century American conquest have been told and retold, first with celebration, and more recently with remorse. Less well understood is how these states actually assumed control of the lands and peoples they claimed to have conquered. To convert a...
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Santiago Muņoz Arbelaez

My dissertation examines how the Spanish imperial state sought to extend its rule upon the fractured terrains of the New Kingdom of Granada (present-day Colombia) and convert the diverse Indian groups into catholic, tribute-paying vassals from the Spanish invasion in 1530s to 1650. At the time of the conquest, this area was composed of a patchwork of very different groups and landscapes with no cultural or political unity. My research explores the making of the New Kingdom of Granada as a region; it asks how these diverse ethnic groups came to be assembled into a common, polymorphous...
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Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt

In 1754, conflict erupted in the heart of eastern North America—conflict that within the next two years would become a global war. From a seemingly minor borderland, the greater Ohio Valley was transformed into the epicenter of French, British, and Iroquois imperial rivalry, as each power sought to gain and cement control of the region. By 1763, the French state would abandon its claims to the Ohio, as well as the Illinois country, Louisiana, and Canada. And by 1768, the Iroquois Empire, joined by the Cherokee and other indigenous polities, too would cede most of its formal rights...
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