Blackhawk named Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies

Ned Blackhawk’s work bridges the fields of U.S. western history, early American history, and Native American studies.
Ned Blackhawk.
Ned Blackhawk (Photo by Dan Renzetti)

Ned Blackhawk, an expert on the history of indigenous people in North America, has been appointed the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and of American Studies, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

He is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Department of History and the American Studies program and an enrolled member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada.

Blackhawk joined the Yale faculty in 2009 after spending 10 years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work bridges the fields of U.S. western history, early American history, and Native American studies. He has authored and co-edited several volumes, including “Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the early American West” which received in 2010 a Book of the Decade award from the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, which recognized this work as one of the 10 most influential books in Native American and Indigenous Studies in the first decade of the 21st century. This volume examines the central role of Great Basin Indians in the history of the American West and illuminaties the impacts of colonial expansion and the struggle of Native communities. In addition to the Book of the Decade Award, it received prizes from the American Studies Association, the Western History Association, the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, the American Society for Ethnohistory, and the Organization of American Historians.

Since joining the faculty at Yale, Blackhawk has co-edited two volumes and recently completed the interpretive synthesis, “The Rediscovery of America: American Indians and the Unmaking of U.S. History,” scheduled for publication by Yale University Press in early 2023. He has also written a series of state of the field essays, including the first commissioned essay by the American Historical Association on American Indian historiography and has published numerous articles, review essays, and anthology chapters. In 2013, he started publishing works in Native American art history and has written for exhibition catalogs at the National Museum of the American Indian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. He is also the founding series editor of the Yale University Press Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity, which by the end of 2022 will have published over a dozen volumes in the field.

In addition to his influential scholarship, Blackhawk has organized and/or taught symposia for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute; and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He has also served as an advisory board member for New York Historical Society and a member of the Native American Advisory Board for the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

At Yale, his courses have introduced countless students to American Indian history and has worked closely with the Native American Cultural Center, which opened in 2013. He plays an active role in fostering community as the faculty coordinator for a series of programs. These include: the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP), the Yale Group for the Study of Native America (YGSNA), the Native American Language Project, and the recently established NYU-Yale American Indian Sovereignty Project, a multi-year collaboration between New York University School of Law and Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences designed to foster research in support of the sovereignty of Native nations.

He has also served Yale in other crucial capacities, including as a member of the Steering Committee for the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and as a member for two terms on the Humanities Division Tenure and Appointments Committee.

A graduate of McGill University, he earned his master’s degree in History from UCLA, and his Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

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