Event—Public Programming

Myths, Memory, and Indigenous Survival in the Gulf South

Join us as historian Elizabeth Ellis delivers this year’s lecture.

Dr. Elizabeth Ellis

This program will be held in-person at the Newberry and livestreamed on Zoom.

Across the Gulf South, local legends record the supposed vanishing or dying out of Native Americans even as Native peoples remain alive and well in the region. What is the power of these legends? And how have they shaped and restricted the political rights of contemporary tribal nations across centuries? Using Mississippi and Louisiana as historical case studies, this talk investigates these myths and their consequences.


5 pm Reception, catered by Ketapanen Kitchen Indigenous Cuisine

6 pm Program
Opening Song, Oka Homma Singers
Lecture, Elizabeth Ellis

The D’Arcy McNickle Distinguished Lecture Series celebrates Indigenous scholars, writers, and artists who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work concerning Indigenous peoples and histories and who actively address contemporary issues faced by American Indian and Indigenous communities.


Elizabeth Ellis (Peoria Nation of Oklahoma), associate professor of history at Princeton University, specializes in early American and Native American history with a research focus on the 17th- and 18th-century south. She is the author of The Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South. Her ongoing collaborative work includes the Reclaiming Stories Project, the “Unsettled Refuge” working group on Indigenous histories of North American Sanctuary, and the “Indigenous Borderlands of North America” research project. She is also the primary investigator for the 2023-2024 Mellon Sawyer Seminar “Indigenous Futures in Times of Crisis” at New York University and Princeton University.

Oka Homma Singers, a Chicago-based Drum group, presents intertribal songs of the Southern Plains. Oka Homma formed in March 2023 to contribute to a resurgence of arts engagement needed to mobilize and build community. In addition, the Drum aims to re/introduce cultural practice amongst Chicago’s intergenerational Native American community. Through song, these singers share a small taste of southern plains culture with the Midwest populace.

Cost and Registration

This program is free and open to all. Advance registration required.

Registration opens October 1.

In-Person Registration

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Past Public Programs

Check out video recordings of past Newberry public programs on our YouTube channel.