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Indigenous Politics and the American State


Event Summary

Cherokee double-weave storage basket by Eva Queen Wolfe. Hunter Library Digital Collections. Courtesy Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual.

The American state was fundamentally shaped by its genocidal confrontation with the continent’s first inhabitants. Yet scholars of American political development (APD) have only recently begun to grapple with the enduring legacies of the federal government’s policies of dispossession and extermination. As part of a series of discussions sponsored by the Infrastructures of American Hegemony project at the Neubauer Collegium, roundtable participants discussed what engagement with Indigenous politics reveals about the “storybook truths” central to the American experience and what it can teach us about the ideas, arguments, and core concepts that animate the study of APD. How can we better understand the United States’ territorial expansion and rise to global power? What lessons are to be found in the experiences of other settler states?


Kevin Bruyneel


Professor of Politics, Babson College

Laura Evans


Associate Professor of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington

Raymond Orr


Associate Professor of Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma

Ruth Bloch Rubin (moderator)


Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

Bartholomew Sparrow


Professor of Politics, University of Texas