Susan Sleeper-Smith

Professor Susan Sleeper-Smith’s Why You Can’t Teach U.S. History Without American Indians has entered its third printing just ten months after publication, far ahead of University of North Carolina Press expectations. All royalties from the sale of this volume are donated to the D’Arcy McNickle Center at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The review in The Journal of American History described this volume as “well-written and generously illustrated” and said “this rich resource merits a place on the bookshelves of everyone teaching American History.” The Journal of Interdisciplinary History claims that this volume removes “American History from the vacuum in which it is often placed…and provides details that rarely make it into the history books.”Book Cover Why you can't teach US history without Native Americans

Why You Can’t Teach U.S. History Without American Indians illuminates the unmistakable centrality of American Indian history to the full sweep of American history. The nineteen essays gathered in this collaboratively produced volume, written by leading scholars in the field of Native American history, reflect the newest directions of the field and are organized to follow the chronological arc of the standard American history survey. Contributors reassess major events, themes, groups of historical actors, and approaches—social, cultural, military, and political—consistently demonstrating how Native American people, and questions of Native American sovereignty, have animated all the ways we consider the nation’s past. The uniqueness of Indigenous history, as interwoven more fully in the American story, challenges students to think in new ways about larger themes in U.S. history, such as settlement and colonization, economic and political power, citizenship and movements for equality, and the fundamental question of what it means to be an American. The book was edited by Susan Sleeper-Smith, Juliana Barr, Jean M. O’Brien, Nancy Shoemaker, and Scott Manning Stevens.

Professor Susan Sleeper-Smith has also been appointed to a three-year term on the Michael Kraus Research Grant Committee of the American Historical Association, a committee that reviews applications for research funding in colonial American history, emphasizing the intercultural aspects of American and European relations.

In addition, Professor Sleeper-Smith has been elected to a two-year term as the president of the American Society for Ethnohistory, the preeminent international organization in the field of American Indian history and the sponsor of the journal Ethnohistory. In membership and purpose, the society represents the interests of communities as well as academics from a variety of disciplines – cultural anthropology, history, Native American studies, archaeology, ecology, linguistics, and other related disciplines. The unifying factor is a commitment to the mission of the association – professionals from a variety of backgrounds who are helping to create a more inclusive picture of the histories of native groups in the Americas. Currently, the Society has about 500 active members and 700 institutional subscribers.

The 2016 ASE conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 9-13, 2016.  The theme for the meeting will be “Ethnohistories of Native Space.” The American Society for Ethnohistory’s 2016 program committee encourages submission of proposals that will pursue analysis of dwelling, diaspora, and other experiences of space and place in a wide variety of ways—from inquiry into how native spaces are represented through narrative and performance, to study of different forms of colonial intrusion, to use of Geographic Information Systems for tracking patterns of interaction and movement. To apply, please submit your proposal as a MS Word document to by May 27, 2016. Notification of the status of the submission by July 8, 2016.