Call For Panel-- Marine Histories of Native America- Panel Proposal, Western History Association Annual Conference 2018

John W Nelson's picture
Washing the Dust Off Indigenous Sovereignty: Marine Histories of Native America- Panel Proposal, Western History Association Annual Conference 2018

Until recently, historical scholarship has failed to appreciate the Indigenous peoples of North America as anything other than land-bound societies, treating maritime history as the realm of European empires and ignoring the deep relationships between Native American groups and the waterways of the continent. 

In the past several years, works such as Joshua Reid's The Sea is My Country and Andrew Lipman's The Saltwater Frontier have begun to push against such fallacies. The panel seeks to continue this work by examining the relationships between various Indigenous peoples and their waters, whether the ocean and its coastlines, or the rivers, lakes, and waterways of the interior.

At this time, I am seeking fellow panelists working on Indigenous history and Native peoples’ relationship to marine or riverine landscapes. So far, the panel includes a paper on the Indigenous canoe routes of the Great Lakes in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, but other interested panelists should contact John Nelson ( to propose their topics. My hope would be to include topics with a wide array of geographic and temporal focus.

The conference will take place October 17-20, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. For more information on the Western History Association annual conference, see the following CFP: