Douglas K. Reading Lecture

Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire
Urban and Indigenous histories have usually been treated as though they are mutually exclusive. Coll Thrush’s work, however, has argued that the two kinds of history are in fact mutually constitutive. In this presentation, Dr. Thrush will present material from his most recent book, a history of London framed through the experiences of Indigenous children, women, and men who travelled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, beginning in the early sixteenth century and continuing into the twenty-first. An Indigenous-focused history of the imagined "centre" offers opportunities to reframe global histories of empire to disorient and disrupt colonial narratives that are literally built into the urban landscape.

Coll Thrush is professor of history at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in unceded Coast Salish territories, and affiliate faculty at UBC’s Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. He is also a visiting professor at the universities of Kent and East Anglia in the UK. Coll is the author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place, a second edition of which was released in 2017, and co-editor of Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence: Native Ghosts in North American History & Culture (2011). His most recent book is Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire (2016). Coll is currently working on two projects: Wrecked: Ecologies of Failure in the Graveyard of the Pacific, a critical cultural and environmental history of shipwrecks and settler colonialism on the Northwest Coast, and an archivally-grounded fiction project entitled SlaughterTown, set in the 1980s in his hometown of Auburn, Washington, formerly known as Slaughter. Coll is also the founding series editor of Indigenous Confluences at the University of Washington Press.

Image: America Meredith (Cherokee), London Calling 1762 (2012)

Monday, September 23 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Persson Hall, Auditorium


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