Imperial Evidence: Contested Geographies of Proof and Power
My book manuscript, in progress, explores how evidentiary regimes in law, science, and technology are produced through the racial and spatial dynamics of US colonialism. Each of three sections focuses on techniques and technologies--land survey, case files, and population genetics--which, while seemingly objective and perhaps banal, have emerged in particular historical moments to reconfigure the terms of US colonial occupation of Indigenous and specifically Haudenosaunee lands and Peoples. Combining archival research, interviews, participatory ethnography, and critical analyses of Indigenous literary and visual productions, I show how Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous peoples have continually reckoned and refused US colonialism's terms of engagement.
Rendering settler sovereign landscapes
Awarded by NAISA in 2021 "Most Thought Provoking Article," was published in Environment and Planning D: Society And Space: available here. In it, I take the 2005 Supreme Court case City of Sherrill vs. Oneida Indian Nation as a starting point to discuss how making land into property in post-Revolutionary New York State reconfigured relationships between land and people in space through particular anti-indigenous and racist conceptualizations of labor, place, and polities. I use archival material from Thomas Jefferson's work on conceptualizing the Public Land Survey System, and the Holland Land Company archives. I examine how these practices continue to constitute geographies of occupation in upstate New York, and how they are refused.
Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project
Cornell University, as determined in a 2020 investigative journalism project released through High Country News, was the largest recipient and benefactor of stolen Indigenous lands of any land grant university, through the 1862 Morrill Act. A faculty committee and blog was formed by the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) to investigate this legacy and begin work towards redress. In addition to participating in the faculty committee, I am working with other Indigenous alumni of Cornell University to analyze what this means historically, and to formulate an understanding of what restitution on the part of Cornell may look like, as a debt of stolen land that is unpayable.