Many Stories in the Land: Revisiting “Williamstown” and its Meanings

Posted by on Mar 13, 2021 in Featured slider, Talks | Comments Off on Many Stories in the Land: Revisiting “Williamstown” and its Meanings

Many Stories in the Land: Revisiting “Williamstown” and its Meanings

Many Stories in the Land: Revisiting “Williamstown” and Its Meanings—Past, Present, and Future
with Professor Christine DeLucia
Saturday, March 27, 2021, at 11 a.m.

Many Stories in the Land Lecture Video

As much as human activities have shaped the lands and waters in this area, so have the actions of more-than-human beings like the Beavers (who continue to make lodges at Field Farm). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Beavers and their pelts were highly valued in trading relationships that drew Native people and tribal nations into close and difficult relationships with Euro-colonial settlers.

What does it mean to revisit the place we inhabit and seek out different, more expansive understandings of these mountains, rivers, and valleys and their deep human connections?  What might it entail to remember a place in ways that move beyond the Euro-colonial experiences that are so visibly and tangible commemorated here?

New signage at the “1753 House” site publicly recognizes this land as the “Homelands of the Moh He Con Neew (Mohican Nation),” opening a lens onto this as both a historical and continuing Indigenous place in the twenty-first century.

This presentation offers possibilities for critically rethinking both history and geography and their enduring meanings.  In particular, it recognizes vital ongoing work done by the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Community in their eastern tribal homelands—as well as an array of tribal-led projects across the Native Northeast—and sketches pathways for local residents to engage with and support Native/Indigenous forms of stewardship, interpretation, and sovereignty.

It simultaneously invites listeners to reconsider seemingly familiar historical documents, objects, and sites, through methods that convey more complex stories and attest to the pressures and ongoing legacies of colonization.

Most of all, this event invites dialogue about collaborative pathways for future research, learning, teaching, and action.

The 45 minute talk will be illustrated with numerous photos and documents and will be followed by a 15 minute question and answer session.

 

Christine DeLucia is Assistant Professor of History at Williams College, and previously taught at Mount Holyoke College.  She is author of Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast (Yale University Press, 2018), as well as essays and articles related to the Northeast/New England, Native American communities and tribal nations, and Euro-colonial histories.  She is particularly interested in public history, memory, material culture, and the ways that people in the present interact with the past and draw upon it to shape the future.

The video may be viewed here: Many Stories in the Land presented by Christine DeLucia, lecture video