Aaron Luedtke

I am a cultural historian of the early United States.  I am primarily focused on the intercultural relations between Indigenous groups and the various peoples of European descent that inhabited the Great Lakes region, particularly in the nineteenth century.

My dissertation will be a comparative look at the cities of Chicago and Toronto in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Both of these locations transformed from Indigenous space to urban metropolis within the span of fifty years.  My project looks at the twin development of these two cities specifically in the context of settler colonialism.  More importantly, my work will focus on memory in order to illustrate the Indigenous cultural continuity that persisted both over space and time.  I wish to understand the Great Lakes region from the standpoint of Anishinaabe peoples who pushed back against British and American settler encroachment.

I recently attended a summer workshop sponsored by NICHE (Network in Canadian History & Environment) entitled, Canadian History and Environment Summer School.  This year’s theme focused on gender and the Indigenous landscape, and it explored themes of Native dislocation, depopulation, acculturation, and persistence in the wake of white encroachment in Upper Canada/Ontario.  My reflection of the workshop can be read at the NICHE website.

While working on my MA at Lehigh University, I received a multi-year fellowship to research and produce a documentary film and a website that explores the evolution of the black student voice on Lehigh’s campus, especially in the midst of racial tension.

The completed film can be viewed here.

To learn more about that project, visit engineeringequality.cas2.lehigh.edu

My Masters Thesis entitled, Revolutionary Reverence: The Politics of Memory and Identity in the Baptist Church of post-Revolutionary Virginia, explores the various ways in which leaders of the Virginia Baptist Church in the early Republic, in order to legitimize their sect and appeal to the wider American public, collectively wrote their own history in a manner that emphasized their Revolutionary political heritage almost as much as it emphasized their religiosity.  In doing so, these early Baptist leaders and historians memorialized the actions of their forebears in ways that placed them squarely within the political discourse of nationalism, and specifically utilized their struggle for religious freedom as evidence of a legitimate claim to America’s early national identity and heritage.

Teaching Experience:

ISS 325: War and Revolutions – Teaching Assistant

HST 202: US to 1876 – Teaching Assistant

IAH 201: US and the World – Teaching Assistant

IAH 202: Europe and the World – Teaching Assistant

HST 201: Assistant Instructor

Luedtke – Curriculum Vitae

 

Year in Program: 3

Committee Chair: Dr. Susan Sleeper-Smith

Committee Advisors: Dr. Emily Conroy-Krutz, Dr. Sean Forner, Dr. Mindy Morgan, and Dr. Michael Stamm

Fields of Interest: American History, Ethnohistory, Religion, Native American Studies, History of Memory, The Early American Republic, Settler Colonialism, Early Canadian History

Office: Old Horticulture, 317

Office Hours: Tuesday, 1:30-3:30

Education: M.A., Lehigh University (2015), B.A., Honors College at Eastern Michigan University (2013)

Email: luedtkea@msu.edu