BA University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA UNC-Chapel Hill
MA Thesis: "Constructing the Spaces of Contact: Native Captives and Commoners in Sixteenth-Century La Florida"
My dissertation, titled “Apalachee Diplomacy, Politics, and Power, 1500-1730,” focuses on the Apalachees, who were a powerful Indigenous polity in the Florida panhandle from before Spanish invasion until the early eighteenth century. However, this project is primarily a regional history that seeks to understand how the Apalachees shaped diplomacy, war, and politics in Florida and the broader Southeast. Its goals are threefold: 1) to understand how internal politics within and among Apalachee communities shaped the diplomatic decisions of Apalachee holatas, or chiefs; 2) to explore the Apalachees’ efforts to become a leader within a regional network of primarily Native allies, thus decentering the Spanish and other European empires; and 3) to examine how Timucuan, Creek, Spanish, and British anxieties over and goals for Apalachee as a place and a people informed their diplomatic, military, and political decisions in the region.
I have presented my dissertation research at a variety of conferences, including the American Society for Ethnohistory, the Southern Historical Association, and the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, and workshops, including at the Huntington Library and at King’s College in London. More generally, my research and teaching interests include the Native South, early America, Spanish Florida, cross-cultural diplomacy, and women & gender. At UNC, I have designed and taught introductory college courses on Native American histories and on global colonialism & resistances. I also have planned public education events on historical and contemporary issues facing North Carolina's Native and non-Native communities through my positions in the First Nations Graduate Circle and the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union.