Join us on June 15 for the first talk in our annual summer History talk series! Scholarly study of Native Americans before ca. 1800 has flourished recently, extending our knowledge of Indian peoples during that era well beyond Squanto and Pocahontas. Nonetheless, to a surprising degree, when talking about the continent’s first peoples we still use language that would be familiar to William Bradford and Capt. John Smith. In this talk, James Merrell, Professor at Vassar College asks, is thinking about our loaded vocabulary an exercise in “political correctness”? Or is it simply “correctness”?
James Merrell teaches American history at Vassar College. Recipient of several fellowships, including from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEH, he is the author of The Indians’ New World: Catawbas and their Neighbors From European Contact Through the Era of Removal and Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier. Both books won the Bancroft Prize; Into the American Woods was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.