Ned Blackhawk

Ned Blackhawk is a member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone of Nevada and is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale. His key research interests are histories of Indigenous genocide and settler colonialism. Blackhawk is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (2006), an multi award-winning book that situates Native Americans squarely at the center of a dynamic and complex story of two centuries of Indigenous and imperial history that profoundly shaped the American West. It has had an enormous impact on how historians think about the histories of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, eastern California, and indeed other colonized spaces and the violence that land dispossession entails.

Blackhawk has published, with Isaiah Lorado Wilner, a co-edited volume entitled Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the Legacy of Franz Boas (2018). This book examines the ways in which the work of early twentieth century anthropologist Franz Boas was shaped by Indigenous people who engaged with his work in ways that promoted their own objectives. He is currently working on “The Rediscovery of America: American Indians and the Unmaking of U.S. History” (forthcoming 2022), which studies how recent historical scholarship on Native American history has recast the study of US history.

A graduate of McGill University, Blackhawk has worked at Yale to develop ways for the University to engage more with Indigenous America.  He helped to oversee the building of Yale’s Native American Cultural Center and coordinates the Yale Group for the Study of Native America (YGSNA), the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP), and the Native American Language Project.  He also helped to found the Henry Roe Cloud Dissertation Writing Fellowship.

Contact Information:

• 203-432-8530

Recent Select History Publications:

Blackhawk, Ned. “The Iron Cage of Erasure: American Indian Sovereignty in Jill Lepore’s These Truths. American Historical Review, (December 2020): 1752-1763

Blackhawk, Ned. “Toward an Indigenous Art History of the West: the Segesser Hide Paintings.” In The Contested Spaces of Early America, ed. Julianna Barr and Edward Country, 276-299. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

Blackhawk, Ned. “‘An Age of Pictures More than Words’: Theorizing Early American Indian Photography.” In For A Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw, ed. Nancy Marie Mithlo, 65-75. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of the American Indian Press/Distributed by Yale University Press, 2014.

Blackhawk, Ned. “Violence over the Great Basin: An Interview with Ned Blackhawk,” in Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres, edited by Deborah and Jon Lawrence, 161-79. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011.

Blackhawk, Ned. “Currents in North American Indian Historiography.” Western Historical Quarterly, 50th Anniversary Special Issue: “The WHA at Fifty: Essays on the State of Western History Scholarship” 42 (Autumn 2011): 319-324.

Blackhawk, Ned. “American Indians and the Study of U.S. History.” In American History Now, ed. Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr, 378-401. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011.