Major Field: United States History
Adviser: Kathleen A. DuVal
BA Tulane University
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012
MA Thesis: “Are Not the Lands Our Own? Tunica Diplomacy in Spanish Louisiana and British West Florida 1763–1783”
PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015
Liz Ellis is currently finishing her dissertation entitled “The Many Ties of the Petites Nations: Relationships, Power, and Diplomacy in the Lower Mississippi Valley 1685-1785.” Her work explores the experiences of Louisiana’s small Indigenous polities, or “petites nations” at the French colonists called them, during the eighteenth century. Unlike many of the larger Indian nations of the Southeast, the petites nations did not coalesce into larger confederacies during the eighteenth century, and many of these peoples have managed to maintain their lands and communities in Louisiana and Mississippi through the present day. Her dissertation examines the interactions among these petites nations and their relationships to larger Indian groups and the French, Spanish, British, and African peoples who settled in Louisiana. Her analysis focuses on petites nations peoples’ efforts to use labor, diplomacy, and political warfare to protect their homelands and preserve their nations.