Summer Scholars

Dr. Marian A. Aitches

Dr. Marian Aitches is a poet and Senior Lecturer in the department of History at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  She teaches core courses in the American Studies Program: American Indian studies, race, ethnicity and nationalism.  Her current research interests include the history of Choctaw immigration into Texas. She continues to work on a memoir/history about growing up in Victoria Courts, a government housing project in San Antonio. Her activist work informs her teaching; her personal engagement in peace and justice issues and organizations has enlivened her commitment to teaching as a way of shaping informed, ethical citizens of a democracy. Fishing for Light, her first collection of poetry, won a national award—the 2009 Wings Press Joanie Whitebird Chapbook competition.  In 2010, Pecan Grove Press published Ours Is a Flower, her first full-length collection.  Her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies.  She is completing a third poetry manuscript tentatively titled What the River Says.  Her project for the NEH Summer Seminar focuses on “21st Century Texas Choctaws: Ethnogenesis and Sovereignty.”

Dr. Frederic J. Allamel, EHESS-Paris, France

An independent scholar, Frédéric Allamel holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Sorbonne with a specialization in sociology of the arts and architecture. He is the editor of Outsider Architectures (University of Southern Mississippi, 2000) and the author of two books: Anthropérotiques (L’Harmattan, 2009) in conjunction with the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and Imaginaires zincifères (ADABS, 2010). His interest for the arts has led him work with Houma artists since 1989, with articles published in Études créoles and Gazogène. In conjunction with Louisiana tricentennial, he curated a traveling exhibition (1999-2002) entitled Houma Indian Arts that was displayed at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans for one semester in 2000–with the United Houma Nation actively collaborating with this project. It was during this time that his research switched towards the issue of landloss and its dramatic effects on Houma culture. Currently affiliated with the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), he is in the process of completing a manuscript on the ecocide and ethnocide that affect Houma society today. The focus of his research at the American Indian Center is on the 19th century transition from a farming economy into the foraging lifestyle that the Houmas adopted when they settled in the marshlands of Southeastern Louisiana.

Ms. Gina M. Caison

Gina Caison is a Ph.D. candidate in the departments of English and Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis.  Her dissertation, “Being, Feeling, and Seeing Red in the Native South,” examines American Indian history and land claim in the literature and popular texts of the region.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mississippi Quarterly, North Carolina Literary Review, and The Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film and Television. In addition to this work, Ms. Caison is also currently co-producing a collaborative documentary film project entitled Uneasy Remains. The Uneasy Remains Film Project examines the history of studying and collecting indigenous human remains at UC Davis and how this history has been informed by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.  Her work for the summer seminar, “Lost Colonies & Lost Causes: Performing History in the Native South,” comes from the first section of her dissertation, which examines the deployment and reception of Native history in the region’s popular outdoor dramas.

Dr. Laurel A. Clark Shire

Laurel Clark Shire received a Ph.D. from the Department of American Studies at the George Washington University on May 18, 2008.She is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut, where she received a Richard J. Cardin Award for faculty research in 2009, a 2010-2011 research grant from the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund (A Legacy of the Hartford College for Women), a 2010 Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, a 2011 Engaged Learning Fellowship, and a 2011-2012 Greenberg Junior Faculty Grant. She teaches courses in the history of sexuality, women, African Americans, and imperialism in the United States.Her book manuscript, Taming the Territory: Women on the Florida Frontier, is currently under revision. My project at the seminar is tentatively titled “‘The Snake Clan Returns to Florida’: Seminole Women’s Resistance to Removal.”  This will be the fourth chapter of my book project, Taming the Territory: Women on the Florida Frontier, which examines the ways that gender operated in the “Americanization” of Florida; the removal of the Seminoles and the expansion of slavery and white settlement.

Dr. Daniel d’Oney, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. G. Rebecca Dobbs

Rebecca Dobbs is an Independent Scholar living near Chapel Hill.  She holds a PhD in geography from UNC-Chapel Hill and is a practitioner of historical geography and historical GIS (geographic information systems)–harnessing technology and spatial thinking in aid of the study of the past.  She has two guest-edited special issues in press for later this year, one on historical GIS in International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research (with Mary Ruvane) and the other on historical geographies of slavery in Historical Geography (with Derek Alderman).  Her main research interest focuses on how Indian landscape features such as trails influenced the location and development of colonial settlements and settlement systems.  She has published articles about the Indian Trading Path and colonial settlement in the NC Piedmont in Historical Geography and Social Science Computer Review.  For this seminar, her research goal is to explore new kinds of source materials to better get at the Indian transportation network in the Southeast and how Indians themselves used it for the full range of purposes for which humans travel.

Dr. Clyde Ellis

I am a professor of history and University Distinguished Scholar at Elon University in Elon, NC (about 20 miles west of Chapel Hill). For the past 25 years I’ve worked in southwest Oklahoma’s Kiowa community and have published among other things To Change Them Forever: Indian Education at the Rainy Mountain Boarding School (1996); The Jesus Road:Kiowas, Christianity, and Indian Hymns (2002); A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains (2003); and Powwow (2006). My current book project is a collaborative ethnography of the Indian hobbyist movement tentatively titled More Indian Than The Indians Themselves. Because I’m also interested in how North Carolina Indian people use powwow culture, my seminar research — tentatively titled “This Music Means A Lot To Us, Too”: Powwow Singing and Plains Influences in Southeast North Carolina” — is another collaborative ethnography that examines a  relatively new song-making tradition here that combines Plains forms and local languages. This work builds on a previously published piece — “‘There’s A Dance Every Weekend’: Powwow Culture in Southeast North Carolina,” in Celeste Ray, ed., Southern Heritage on Display: Public Ritual and Ethnic Diversity within Southern Regionalism (2003).

Mr. Benjamin E. Frey, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Dr. Susanna M. Lee, North Carolina State University

Dr. Nathaniel Millett, Saint Louis University

Dr. Larry E. Nesper

Larry Nesper is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nesper is author of The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), and he has worked closely with several tribes in Wisconsin and with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Nesper teaches courses in American Indian ethnography and ethnohistory, Indians of the Western Great Lakes, anthropology of law, and American Indian social and political movements. His seminar project is entitled “Africa in Indian Country.”

Dr. David A. Nichols

David Nichols is an associate professor of History at Indiana State University, where he teaches colonial, Revolutionary, and Native American history.  His first book, Red Gentlemen & White Savages: Indians, Federalists, and the Search for Order on the American Frontier, was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2008.  He is currently completing a book on the United States government’s Indian trading factories, titled “The Engines of Diplomacy.”  He has also published articles in Ohio Valley History, the Georgia Historical Quarterly, New York History, and Reviews in American History. His project for the NEH Summer Seminar is titled “Unsettled Country: The Chickasaw Nation’s Encounter with Capitalism, 1763-1865.”

Dr. John Paul Nuño

John Paul Nuño earned his doctoral degree in Borderlands History from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2010.  Dr. Nuño completed his dissertation entitled, “Making Africans and Indians: Colonialism, Identity, Racialization, and the Rise of the Nation-State in the Florida Borderlands, 1765-1837.” Dr. Nuño has earned a number of honors and awards such as being named Outstanding History Masters of Arts student in 2004.  He has also been the recipient of the Phi Alpha Theta John Pine Memorial Award and the Dodson Dissertation Fellowship.  In 2010 he was awarded the Porter Dissertation Fellowship to assist in the completion of his graduate work. Dr. Nuño has presented his work at various regional and national conferences such as the 2006 Texas Historical Association Conference and the 2008 American Studies Association Meeting.  He has also served as a panel moderator for the 2009 Western Social Science Association Conference. Dr. Nuño has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at California State University, Northridge and will begin teaching in Fall 2011.  His project for the NEH Summer Seminar focuses on the diplomatic talks between the Seminoles and the Spanish in Florida at the turn of the nineteenth century and is titled “Pláticas de los Españoles y Gente Colorada.”

Dr. Katherine M. Osburn

Katherine M. B. Osburn has been Professor of History at Tennessee Technological University, where she embraced the challenge of teaching Native American and Environmental history to engineers, most of whom were first-generation college students. Her first monograph, Southern Ute Women: Autonomy and Assimilation on the Reservation, 1885-1934 (1998), examined how women on the Southern Ute reservation responded to the gendered policies of the Dawes Act. It is now in its second edition with the University of Nebraska Press. She has published articles in The Journal of Women’s History, New Mexico Historical Review, Southern Cultures, Ethnohistory, and The Journal of the Gilded Age, Progressive Era, and has contributed chapters to several edited collections. Her current manuscript, Choctaw Resurgence in Mississippi: Race, Class, and Nation Building in the Jim Crow South, 1830-1977, is under contract with University of Nebraska Press. She will be revising it for final publication during the seminar. She will be moving to Arizona State University as soon as the seminar is over.

Dr. Arthur Remillard

Arthur Remillard is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania.  He has served as managing editor and book review editor for the Journal of Southern Religion since 2002.  His first book, Southern Civil Religions (UGA Press, Dec. 2011), investigates the competing and complicated value systems of the American South during the post-Reconstruction era (c 1877-1920).  He has also written on religion and sports, American sacred space, and the Spanish mission era.  For contact information and his c.v, please visit: His seminar research project involves Native Americans in sports in the South betwen 1865 and 1945.

Dr. Annette Trefzer

Annette Trefzer is Associate Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. She teaches courses in American and Native American literature and literary theory.  She is the author of Disturbing Indians: The Archaeology of Southern Fiction (2007) and co-editor, with Kathryn McKee, of a special issue of American Literature:  “Global Contexts: Local Literatures: The New Southern Studies” (2006).  She is co-editor, with Ann Abadie, of Global Faulkner (2008) Faulkner’s Sexualities (2010), Faulkner: Returns of the Text (forthcoming).  She has published articles in African-American ReviewSouthern Quarterly, the Mississippi Quarterly, the Journal of American Studies, and other journals. Her current book project isTransculturations: Ethnographic Fictions of the Global South.  She is a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Working Group on the Global South and can be reached at Her project for the seminar is called: “Haunted Southern Homelands: Three Native American Novels.”

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