HCAR Works-in-Progress Seminar: Dr. Benjamin Pokross - Events Calendar
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HCAR Works-in-Progress Seminar: Dr. Benjamin Pokross

February 9, 2:30 pm-4:00 pm

The Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) at Gilcrease Museum cordially invites all interested TU faculty, staff, and students to join us for our November Works-in-Progress (WIP) Seminar, featuring Benjamin Pokross, Ph.D., from The University of Tulsa.

Ben Pokross is the Duane H. King Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum. His book project, Writing History in the Nineteenth-Century Great Lakes, asks what it meant to try and record the history of Indigenous people in nineteenth-century America. By analyzing four emergent genres of historical writing taken up by both Native and settler authors in the nineteenth century—the legend, the “traditional history,” the “textual memorial,” and the souvenir—this project argues that we can see the influence Indigenous people have always had in crafting their own histories. His research has been supported by fellowships from the University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and the Newberry Library in Chicago.

In February’s seminar, Pokross will be sharing a draft of his article, “Memorial Forms: Copway’s American Indian and History in the Age of Information.” This article analyzes Mississauga Ojibwe minister and author George Copway’s short-lived newspaper, Copway’s American Indian, for what it can tell us about the potential for Native historical writing within settler-colonial print networks. I argue that Copway identifies what I call “memorialization”—the attempt to sum up and contain the history of Native America assumed to be passing away–as a print practice that delimited what could be said about the Native past and its meaning for the present. His newspaper contests this practice by embracing it, revealing the fissures and contradictions in memorialization’s attempt to eulogize Indigenous communities. Copway’s strategy is not without risk, but his attempt, I argue, shows us one way Native people in antebellum America sought to engage settler-colonial print forms for their own ends.

HCAR’s WIP Seminars foster a vibrant community of local and regional scholars, offering a platform to share creative work in an academically constructive environment. Each seminar revolves around pre-circulated drafts that participants read beforehand, followed by a roundtable discussion. Light refreshments will be served!

For those attending, an electronic copy of the paper will be available by November 3rd. You can access it through this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WaofBSPOssFbSRhW9059vwmm6KNanRz-/view?usp=sharing


February 9
2:30 pm-4:00 pm
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Gilcrease Museum


Room/Location in Building
Jackson Seminar Room
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Helmerich Center for American Research
1400 N Gilcrease Museum Rd
Tulsa, OK 74127 United States
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