How ‘Indian’ history became American history
Free Public Lecture
Elisabeth Murdoch Building
T: (03) 8344 6004
Between the 1992 and 2014 commemorations of Columbus’ first voyage to the Caribbean, a remarkable transformation has occured. Native American history, once a marginal enterprise for historians, has become the central means for understanding the dynamics of colonisation, settlement and displacement in the Americas in the first 300 hundred years of the Columbian Encounter.
In this lecture Professor Trevor Burnard asks why it is that Native Americans have moved from the margins to the centre of historical attention and what this tells us about how American history is currently written. His exploration will trace the course of historical scholarship over the last twenty years and examine contemporary political themes – such as the extensive Hispanic migration into the United States – as explanations for this sea-change in the treatment of Native Americans as historical actors. In the process, Professor Burnard will shed light on why the Aztecs are so fundamentally important to the development of societies in the Americas post-Columbus.
This lecture forms part of the Aztecs lecture series held at the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Museum.