Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Temple University
2018 to 2019
Indian Country: Race and Environment in the Black Hills, 1850-1992
In 1972, a flood tore through Rapid City, South Dakota, killing 240 people. Many whose lives and homes were destroyed lived in a predominately Native American neighborhood known as “The Gap.” My dissertation asks why those people lived in that neighborhood at that time. I argue that white Americans racialized certain spaces under the conceptual framework of “Indian Country” as part of the process of American conquest on the northern plains. The American project of racializing western spaces fundamentally changed environments. Mining, logging, ranching, and tourism industries, as well as the creation of an urban infrastructure, were all established in the name of changing Indian Country to ordered, predictable, white space. Many of these industries conflicted with one another, however, and Native Americans resisted the racialized process at every turn. At its center, my project claims that environment and race must be understood together in the American West.
Read more about his work here.