Christine DeLucia

Christine DeLucia

Class of 2006, America
Assistant Professor of History, Williams College
Christine DeLucia

Thesis Title: King Philip’s War in Landscape and Memory

What Now: Assistant Professor of History, Williams College

What Next: Writing my second book, on Northeastern Native communities before, during, and after the American Revolution and their entanglements with Euro-Americans and African Americans

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When I began researching my senior thesis in History & Literature about the seventeenth-century Indigenous resistance movement known as King Philip's War and its long legacies, I didn't expect this would turn into a lifelong personal as well as professional commitment. But my college explorations into contested histories of place, memory, and history-making have taken me deep into several rewarding areas of research, education, and public outreach. Working with Harvard faculty members like Lawrence Buell, Lizabeth Cohen, and Lisa Brooks impressed upon me the importance of taking wide-ranging, genuinely interdisciplinary approaches to "place," rather than confining inquiries to documentary/written archives alone. All of these scholars understood the significance of walking the land and coming to critically understand Native and Euro-colonial people and places through a range of methodologies. I am grateful to these mentors for bringing me and classmates on place-based tours of Boston, eastern Massachusetts, and Native spaces. They emphasized history as a process that is continuously unfolding, and modeled rigorous, creative approaches to learning that have pervasively shaped my own practices and ethics.

I'm also indebted to the Harvard University Native American Program for granting me thesis research funds to support my travel to the Wampanoag community/nation of Aquinnah on the island of Noepe (Martha's Vineyard). This was my first immersion in doing oral history with tribal community knowledge keepers, and I have long since continued working with community members on other dimensions of history-making, including a recent historical signage project with the Mohegan Tribe. These collaborative relationships have helped me understand how Native communities have survived enormously challenging histories of violence and dispossession, remaining resilient and forward-looking right into the twenty-first century.

After graduating from Harvard, I completed an M.Litt. in Environmental History at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, followed by a Ph.D. in American Studies at Yale University. My senior thesis morphed into my doctoral dissertation and ultimately my first book: Memory Lands: King Philip's War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast (Yale University Press, 2018, in the Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity). I completed the book while on the History faculty at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts, where I spent seven very happy years and received tenure in 2018. As a liberal arts college professor, I have worked closely with undergraduate students in many capacities, including as an advisor for internships and career pathways in public history, museums, and archives. I especially enjoyed developing close relationships with curators at the campus art museum, and collaborating with classes to research and better interpret the extensive material culture collections, including significant Indigenous heritage items. I have recently joined the History faculty at Williams College, and I'm looking forward to continuing opening new pathways and building capacities in Native American Studies and early Americanist topics.

Read More:
• "The Vanishing Indians of 'These Truths'" in the Los Angeles Review of Books (January 2019)
• "On 'Slow History': Decolonizing Methodologies and the Importance of Responsive Editorial Processes" in Uncommon Sense (March 2018)
• Interview with WBUR (Radio Boston) about Memory Lands (January 2018)