Affiliated Societies

Newberry Library, D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies

AHA Staff | Apr 1, 2013

The Newberry Library presents "Why You Can't Teach US History without American Indians," a Newberry symposium commemorating the 40th year of the McNickle Center on May 3–4, 2013. Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies at Michigan State University, the symposium is free and open to the public.

For generations US historians wrote the nation's story as if Indians did not exist, or at best, they marginalized Indian peoples as unimportant actors in the national drama of revolution and democratic state formation. Despite the large number of faculty trained in American Indian history very little has changed and most college-level students who enroll in large survey courses in US history learn about Indians during the initial stages of encounter and then, Indians are often depicted as succumbing to epidemic diseases or being pushed off their lands by westward expansion.

The mission of this symposium is to change how historians teach US history. Today, we are fortunate to have a large number of faculty who teach American Indian studies and the knowledge base that these scholars possess is profound, thoroughgoing, and expansive. These new perspectives need to be better incorporated into the interpretation and writing of history. Repeatedly, we hear faculty proclaim that they would include Indians if they were more central to mainstream history. This symposium intends to challenge that perspective and to provide a new expanded resource for college level faculty.

RSVP to by April 26, 2013. For a full list of participants, papers, and sessions, visit the "Why You Can't Teach U.S. History without American Indians" web site.

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