Abenaki Scholar to Discuss Indigenous Resistance, Adaptation to Colonialism in New England

Lisa Brooks
Lisa Brooks

Lisa Brooks, associate professor of English and American studies at Amherst College, will speak on “Native New England: Resistance, Reclamation, Revitalization” on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in 145 Integrated Sciences Building.

An Abenaki scholar, Brooks will discuss the history of Indigenous resistance and adaptation to colonialism in New England, from the “First Indian War” (King Philip’s War, 1675-1678) and eighteenth-century Wabanaki dam protests to contemporary struggles to retain and protect sovereignty and sustenance.

Native leaders, artists and activists have used a variety of innovative tools toward reclamation and revitalization, including technologies like writing, filmmaking, and unexpected digital forms. She will discuss the ways in which environmental and social justice are often intertwined and lay the groundwork for imagining alternative futures through the renewal of relationships of alliance and reciprocity.

Brooks’ first book, “The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast,” reframes the historical and literary landscape of the northeast and received the Media Ecology Associations Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture in 2011.

Although deeply rooted in her Abenaki homeland, Brooks’s work has been widely influential in a global network of scholars. She served on the inaugural Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), and currently serves on the Editorial Boards of SAIL and Ethnohistory.

She also works on the Advisory Board of Gedakina, a non-profit organization focused on Indigenous cultural revitalization, traditional ecological knowledge and community wellness in New England. Her second book, “Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War” is forthcoming from Yale University Press in January.

The talk is part of the Resistance Studies Initiative Fall Speaker Series: Distinguished researchers and activists share critical reflections on resistance issues.

The event is open to all. Refreshments will be served.