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Ned Blackhawk: The Indigenous Origins of the American Revolution


Join us for the closing plenary session of “For 2026: Contested Freedoms” with author and scholar Ned Blackhawk (Yale University) on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 5:00 pm in William & Mary’s Integrated Science Center (ISC) room 1221,

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“The indigenous origins of the American revolution: historiography and American colonialism”

A talk by Ned Blackhawk

Join us for the closing plenary session of “For 2026: Contested Freedoms” with author and scholar Ned Blackhawk (Yale University) on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 5:00 pm in William & Mary’s Integrated Science Center (ISC) room 1221 (parking and directions below).

Doors will open at 4:15 pm. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

Professor Blackhawk will be discussing his recent book, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History, a sweeping retelling of U.S. history which shows how Native Americans are essential to understanding the evolution of America.

“A sweeping, important, revisionist work of American history that places Native Americans front and center.”—New York Times Book Review, cover review
“In accounts of American history, Indigenous peoples are often treated as largely incidental…. Blackhawk challenges those minimalizations and exclusions, showing that Native communities have, instead, been inseparable from the American story all along.”—Washington Post Book World, “Books to Read in 2023”

Ned Blackhawk is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, where he is the faculty coordinator for the Yale Group for the Study of Native America.

Blackhawk is an enrolled member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada. A graduate of McGill University, he holds graduate degrees in history from UCLA and the University of Washington.

Blackhawk is the author or co-editor of four books in Native American and Indigenous history, including Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West, which won seven professional awards, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for the most significant first book in U.S. history, awarded by the Organization of American Historians.

Author of the first state of the field essay on Native American history commissioned by the American Historical Association, Blackhawk has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times Book ReviewWashington PostAmerican QuarterlyReviews in American HistoryAmerican Historical ReviewEthnohistory, and American Indian Culture and Research Journal, among others.

Blackhawk has worked closely with museum communities and published in exhibition catalogues for the National Museum of the American Indians, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife and family.

Attendees may park in any W&M parking lot for the lecture. No parking tags or passes are needed on Saturdays in any W&M lot. The Integrated Science Center is located on the main campus of W&M—building 117 on this map. (WM campus map). Room 1221 is most easily accessed via the entrance on the far east side of the building (near Hardy Hall). Guests are encouraged to park in the large lot off Jamestown Road. Guests with limited mobility may be dropped off on Landrum Drive and can enter room 1221 directly via the handicapped entrance.

The “For 2026” conference series is co-sponsored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, and William & Mary. “For 2026: Contested Freedoms” is the second in the series.

The series uses the occasion of the 250th anniversary of American independence from Britain as an unparalleled opportunity for exploring and reflecting upon the American past, the foundation of the nation, and its legacy into the present. Complex, inspiring, and often violent, this period informs our experience as Americans today. The better we understand that past, the better we are equipped to understand ourselves, address the challenges we face, and seize opportunities for the future.