Office location: Laurentide 5242
Phone: (262) 472-5150
Fields of Interest: American West; Native American history; Wisconsin history; historical and human geography; environmental history
Current Projects: My dissertation, in progress, explores the role of storytelling in the place-making process. It is entitled, "Restorying a Colonized Landscape: Indians, Archaeologists, and Place Narratives in Wisconsin,1830s-1920s." Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, non-Indians played an active role in the wide-spread narrative phenomenon of storying Indians out of the land. This dissertation examines the origin of this phenomenon in the 1830s, when Ho-Chunk removal and early newcomer settlement of their ancestral lands overlapped in Wisconsin's Rock-river country. Even though their physical removal west ofthe Mississippi failed, Ho-Chunks were effectively removed from the region's history in place-stories told by non-Native newcomers. Settler stories also obscured potential Ho-Chunk authorship of the area's man-made mounds, which numbered in the thousands. By the early twentieth century, such place-stories limited the very real claims the Ho-Chunk could make to their ancestral homelands in southern and central Wisconsin. Only then did the collaborative work between early-twentieth-century amateur archaeologists and Ho-Chunks create a meaningful opportunity for the region's Indigenous people to re-story the mounds as their own and thus reassert their claims to and belonging in this Native landscape.