Sept. 16, 2011: First Fridays Speaker Series, "Indian Dialogues" presented by Prof. Drew Lopenzina, Sam Houston State University
Date: Friday, 9/16/11
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Hamilton Smith Hall, room 101
Join us for our inaugural First Fridays event of the 2011-2012 academic year. Drew Lopenzina, Assistant Professor of English, Sam Houston State University, and author of Red Ink: Native Americans Picking Up the Pen in the Colonial Period will present a talk titled "Indian Dialogues: King Phillip as both Signifier and Signified in the Colonial Archive". Prof. Lopenzina is a UNH Alumnus (2006) who specializes in Early American Literature, Native American Literature, Multi-Cultural Literature of the colonial period, and American Frontier Literatures.
Prof. Lopenzina's paper investigates the disputes and power imbalances leading up to King Philip's War in 1670's New England, concentrating on the manner in which the Wampanoag attempted to preserve their social integrity through textual processes. Both Philip, and his father, Massasoit, had presided over the drawing up of land deeds and treaties, placing their mark upon a number of colonial documents. The language of these documents, often reveals tensions that ultimately resolved in open warfare. Standing in bold relief of such tensions, however, are the encounters described in John Eliot's Indian Dialogues wherein the political presence of Philip was replaced by a fictionalized figure who readily attests to the superiority of Christianity as a religion, offering no resistance to the idea of total assimilation to the colonial norms. Indian dialogues, arguable the first conscious work of fiction produced in the colonies, demonstrates how textualization of Native figures was largely a process of colonial wish fulfillment and erasure. Tensions generated between competing archival traces of the Wampanoag leader denote the tormented readings that reside within what Anishinaabe critic Gerald Vizenor has referred to as the "simulations of colonial dominance." And yet the narratives that inform us of King Philip's life may be reconsidered to offer new stories of tribal resistance. This paper endeavors to reconnect with the narrative of King Philip, through stories and documents, in a manner that allows for the workings of Wampanoag survivance within the colonial archive.
The UNH English Department Speakers Series sponsors Professors of English and other disciplines from various academic institutions for a visit to UNH during which they present a current paper and discuss their research. Prof. Lopenzina's visit is presented with the support of the Edmund G. Miller Fund.
This event is free and open to the public. Please contact the UNH English Department for more information: (603) 862-1313.