Early American History Seminar: Joshua Piker, University of Oklahoma

Early American History and Culture Seminar
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

“Lying Together: The Imperial Implications of Cross-Cultural Untruths
Joshua Piker, University of Oklahoma
* This seminar is co-sponsored by the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Indians and Europeans regularly lied to each other.  Our familiarity with that fact has, however, obscured a subset of lies that is worth examining in more detail: those told on both sides of the frontier.  This paper focuses on the cross-cultural lies told about Acorn Whistler, a Creek executed in 1752.  The process by which Creeks and imperial officials came to tell the same lies offers a unique window onto the quotidian meaning of both Indian and imperial power.  The paper argues that lies told in Coweta and Charleston can have an impact in London and may affect how we understand Lexington and Concord.