"The Poetics of Treaties: Eighteenth-Century Topographical Poetry at the Treaty of Chicago (1821)"
This seminar examines the 1821 Treaty of Chicago, signed by representatives of the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Bodéwadmi, and the US federal government. It sets the negotiations and text of this treaty in conversation with Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s account of the negotiations, Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley (1825). Schoolcraft draws on eighteenth-century topographical poetry throughout this text to explain, contextualise, and argue for the benefits of the treaty. In doing so, he demonstrates the centrality of topographical poetry not only to the epistemological world of settler officials, but to the actual text of the treaty itself.
About the Eighteen-Century Seminar
The Eighteenth-Century Seminar is designed to foster research and inquiry across the scholarly disciplines in eighteenth-century studies. It aims to provide a methodologically diverse forum for work that engages ongoing discussions and debates along this historical and critical terrain. Each year the seminar sponsors one public lecture followed by questions and discussion, and two works-in-progress sessions featuring pre-circulated papers.
The seminar is organized by Timothy Campbell (University of Chicago), Lisa A. Freeman (University of Illinois at Chicago), Jason Farr (Marquette University), and Alicia Caticha (Northwestern University).