White Tribism: Writing Europeans into Ancient North AmericaExport this event to calendar

Friday, November 4, 2016 — 2:00 PM to 3:20 PM EDT

The Department of Anthropology is proud to present a lecture by Dr. Douglas Hunter, Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History.

Ever since the time of Columbus, travelers, antiquaries, and scholars have traded in accounts that form a phenomenon I have called White Tribism. These tales of strangely familiar people in a strange land and related theories of human migration have contended that Europeans (or peoples of classical or Biblical antiquity from whom Europeans claimed a biological and cultural inheritance) colonized the Americas long before Columbus stumbled upon the Bahamas in October 1492. In time, these accounts became symptomatic of a colonialist perspective that sought to define Indigenous peoples as inferior in every sense, except where an infusion of European genes and know-how in the deep past could serve as the only explanation of their purported exceptionalities. Native Americans otherwise routinely were labeled as lazy, ignorant, and ugly, and incapable of improvement. White Tribism also has enjoyed a unique utility in racial claim-staking, contending Whites (as opposed to a specific nationality, like the English) have long been in the New World and thus enjoy as much of a claim to it as living Native Americans—possibly an even greater claim.

About the presenter

Douglas Hunter holds a PhD in History (York 2015) and is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo. His dissertation, “Stone of Power: Dighton Rock, Colonization, and the Erasure of an Indigenous Past,” was awarded a Dissertation Prize by York University and received the 2016 CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, as the outstanding Canadian dissertation in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Fine Arts. A version of his dissertation, incorporating new research, will be published by University of North Carolina Press, fall 2017. He is also writing a book on the Beardmore Viking relic hoax at the Royal Ontario Museum for McGill-Queen’s University Press.

All are welcome! No registration required.

Location 
EV3 - Environment 3
room 4412
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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