Women and Gender Seminar: Susan Sleeper-Smith, Michigan State University

Friday, September 23, 2011

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Center for American History and Culture Programs
Women and Gender Seminar

“Indian Women, Agrarian Villages, and Landscapes of Violence
Susan Sleeper- Smith, Michigan State University

This paper examines the agrarian village world created by Indian women in the Ohio River valley, villages that have been conspicuously invisible in the historical record.  In 1791, they posed a serious barrier to U.S. expansion and President Washington ordered a U.S. army attack on these villages.  The villages and fields were burned and ninety Indian women and children were kidnapped and imprisoned at Fort Washington (Cincinnati). The federal government destabilized this agrarian landscape, dismissed all Indians as warlike, and consigned this agrarian landscape to invisibility.  This paper explores both the agrarian world created by Indian women and exposes the federal actions that destroyed this world.

Commentator: Brenda Child, University of Minnesota

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, e-mail the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.