Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

Pocahontas and After

· March 8th, 2017 · No Comments

The OI is proud to support the upcoming Pocahontas and After: Historical culture and transatlantic encounters, 1617 – 2017 conference which convenes March 16–19, 2017, in London. 

by Francesca Fuentes

In 1617, the American Indian princess Pocahontas, died at Gravesend, Kent, as she awaited her return to Virginia. To mark this 400th anniversary, a series of commemorative activities will be taking place, including a major international conference Pocahontas and After: Historical culture and transatlantic encounters, 1617–2017. The conference is co-hosted by the Institute of Historical Research and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and will provide a space to reflect on the historical legacies of Pocahontas and her continuing relevance and impact.

The central aims for the organisers were to encourage cross-disciplinary debate, include Native American voices, and to encourage participation amongst the next generation of researchers. These principles guided the choice of keynote speakers and special guests who include Chief Robert Gray of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe,  Professor Karen Kupperman (NYU), Professor Camilla Townsend (Rutgers), Dr. Karenne Wood (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities), and Dr. Mishuana Goeman (UCLA).

The Omohundro Institute has sponsored Professor Townsend’s keynote lecture “The Pocahontas Pattern: Intermarriage as political strategy among Native American women in early Virginia.” Professor Townsend’s book, Pocahontas and Powhatan Dilemma (New York, 2005) is one of the key texts on Pocahontas’ life and the interactions between the early English settlers and the native peoples. Her plenary will complement a broad range of papers that discuss this transatlantic and indigenous life and her legacy, something that is especially pertinent given the recent public debate on Native rights and the language and imagery of Pocahontas in this febrile political environment.

You can register for the conference and see a provisional program here.

 

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