History Meets Archaeology in Indigenous/Colonial North America
In keeping with the “History and other Disciplines” theme of this year’s meeting, we propose a Roundtable on Indigenous/Colonial North America that combines historians working with material culture and archaeologists working with documentary records in order to showcase the power and perils of cross-disciplinary research and writing. Cases range from challenges related to bridging “prehistory” and “history” in the Mississippian Chiefdoms in the South to the shell midden archaeology of Coastal Miwok “places of refuge” in the hinterlands of northern California’s Franciscan missions, from the Atlantic world networks of the slave-based Sylvester Manor Plantation on Long Island, to the “hidden landscapes” of Indigenous New England that are helping to rewrite the meaning of King Philip’s War. These four panelists challenge us to expand our methodologies, embrace anthropological theory and hard science, expand our scales of analysis, experiment with narrative expression, and initiate conversations among scholars too often entrenched in institutional departments.
Session Chair James F. Brooks has spent more than a decade as a historian “dwelling among anthropologists,” and has begun publishing in a hybrid vein that blends historical and archaeological sources, interpretation, and narratives. This work was featured in the June 2013 AHR Forum, “Investigating the History in Prehistory.”