2019 Summer Travel Grant Series: Research on Colonization, Dispossession, Narrative, and Settler-Native Relationality in the Northeastern United States

Summer Travel Grant 2019 Recipient
Emily Ricker
Student Affiliate
MA in American Studies


This summer, I traveled to New England to conduct preliminary fieldwork that will lead directly into my MA thesis. Primarily I was (and remain) interested in the ways that narratives regarding the early colonization of the Northeast circulate today to condition contemporary social and political dynamics in the region. I spent the month of July visiting museums, speaking with local stakeholders, and laying the groundwork for further collaborations. My approach was informed by my grounding in anthropological/ethnographic methodologies as well as theoretical frameworks from Museum Studies and Settler Colonial Studies.

The field research was incredibly fruitful with regards to establishing connections and providing useful data for analysis in my thesis, which I have begun writing this semester. It also helped me further think through my research topic’s connections to the Pacific-Asia region, which run deep despite the seeming geographic distance. As just one example, I learned that the Mashpee Wampanoag community has historical ties to Hawai‘i through the whaling industry and contemporary ties through language revitalization efforts. All in all, my summer field research—which would not have been possible without the generous grant support of EWCA—was greatly enriching and paved the way for the completion of my MA degree.