Monday, October 27, 2014

Turning West, Historians Take a Wider View of Early America

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 27th, 2014

Elizabeth Fenn often gets the question: "What do you work on?" Her reply evokes quizzical looks: "Late medieval and early modern North Dakota."
Ms. Fenn studies the Mandan Indians, a people known mainly because Lewis and Clark wintered among them in 1804-5.
But the Mandans have lived at the center of North America for centuries. With her quip, Ms. Fenn, an associate professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder, hopes to get people thinking about that deep history.
"American history does not begin when Europeans and Africans arrive," says Ms. Fenn, who this year published a book on the Mandans, Encounters at the Heart of the World (Hill and Wang).

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