Author Archives: Justin Carroll

Helen Hornbeck Tanner Graduate Student Paper Prizer Winners, 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 Helen Hornbeck Tanner Graduate Student Paper Prizes Winner!

First Prize: “Dividing Land and Defining Territory in Colonial K’iche’an Narratives” by Mallory Matsumoto, Brown University.

Second Prize: “Mythologizing the White Man’s Friend: Misrepresentation of Indian Leaders in the Writing of Chicago’s Origin Story,” by Aaron Luedke, Michigan State University.

Third Prize: “Going Beyond ‘The Beach’: In between Spaces of First Encounter in the Caribbean and Mesoamerica, 1492 – 1530,” by Claudia Rogers, University of Leeds, England.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Congratulations to the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winners.  

The American Society of Ethnohistory plans to annually recognize the outstanding scholarship and contributions of our emeriti faculty, whose hard work and dedication to ASE, their outstanding scholarship, and their mentoring of young faculty have been crucial in establishing and maintaining our organization. Although we can never thank them sufficiently for their contributions we hope that recognizing them at our annual meeting will be a partial thank you for their hard work.

The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winners are:
Jennifer Brown

Robert Carmack

Theda Perdue

Neal Salisbury

Susan Schroeder

Erminie Wheeler-Voeglin Book Prize, 2017

Congratulations to James Brooks, the author of Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat’ovi Massacre, published by W. W. Norton and Company, for winning the 2017 Erminie Wheeler Voeglin Book Prize.

The prize committee consisting of Laura Matthew, Jon Parmenter, and Justin Carroll, is please to award this year’s Erminie Wheeler-Voeglin prize for the best book of ethnohistory published in 2016 to Brooks’s painstaking, multidisciplinary inquiry into a difficult event in the Hopi past transports the reader across broad swaths of time, from the eleventh century to contemporary times. Seeking to explain a story whose ghosts trouble (and are troubled by) the present, Brooks analyzes written sources, indigenous oral tradition, ceramics, and human remains. His microhistory of a single, unoccupied site becomes a regional history in which the Hopi confront enduring questions of inclusion, exclusion, and how to define the limits of community in relation to outsiders. Mesa of Sorrows also brings the academy’s tradition of linear, past-to-present narrative into conversation with Hopi traditions of historical thinking. As he puts it, “What if our present were already active in our past? What if our present is nothing more than a past foretold?” (116). At the point where these two traditions meet, the site of Awat’ovi stands as a silent reminder and a warning of future cycles of destruction and rebirth, of difficult moments when the “twin forces of absorbing new neighbors and excluding aliens” (220) might once again come to a head. Finally, Mesa of Sorrows highlights the power and potential of the ethnohistorical method through its deft interplay of sources – textual and non-textual, archaeological and physical, remembered and obliquely glimpsed – and the critical eye it turns on the practice of ethnohistory itself. We congratulate Dr. Brooks on this fine achievement.

Welcome to Ethnohistory 2018!

It is a sure thing!  We are heading south of the fake wall to hold our conference in Oaxaca, Mexico on October 10-14, 2018.  Excursions are planned for Wednesday, October 10; so those interested in those visits should make earlier travel arrangements. We will coordinate with the Central Cultural San Pablo — they have secured a magnificent hotel site for our meeting.  Lodging is luxurious and inexpensive, $79.00 per night and the mountaintop hotel is surrounded by hundreds of acres of gardens.  Food is superb but also inexpensive.  There will be scheduled van service into Oaxaca for those wishing to visit the city. If you book now you can secure flights on scheduled airlines for as low as $330 dollars from Los Angeles and Chicago.  Travel costs from the east coast cities are higher and increase monthly starting in January. To facilitate the process we will have rolling admissions for abstract submission, so that you can submit your proposal as early as December 1 and know the outcome by January 1. This will give participants a chance to plan and secure reason airfares.

Likewise, we are also happy to note that the 2019 (October 23 – 27) meeting will be in State College, PA!

We invite proposals for panel sessions and papers on any topic within ethnohistory. Complete panel proposals with a chair and a commentator are preferred, but individual paper proposals will also be considered. The rolling deadline for paper and panel submissions begins on January 15 and ends on May 15, 2018. Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposals no later than June 15, 2018. It is not necessary to register for the conference in order to have a paper or panel accepted. Once papers and panels are accepted, however, participants must register by August 1, 2018.

Please send all proposals and questions to:

By mail, please send panel/paper abstracts and curriculum vitae to the following address:
Kevin Terraciano
ASE Program Committee Co-Chair
Latin American Institute
University of California, Los Angeles
10343 Bunche Hall
Box 951447
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1447



Michigan State University Press recently published a monograph by John M. Carroll, an Associate Professor at Indiana University East.  The book is about: “John Askin, a Scots-Irish migrant to North America, built his fur trade between the years 1758 and 1781 in the Great Lakes region of North America. His experience serves as a   vista from which to view important aspects of the British Empire in North America. The close interrelationship between trade and empire enabled Askin’s economic triumphs but also made him vulnerable to the consequences of imperial conflicts and mismanagement. The ephemeral, contested nature of British authority during the 1760s and 1770s created openings for men like Askin to develop a trade of smuggling liquor or to challenge the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly over the fur trade, and allowed them to boast in front of British officers of having the “Key of Canada” in their pockets. How British officials responded to and even sanctioned such activities demonstrates the vital importance of trade and empire working in concert. Askin’s life’s work speaks to the collusive nature of the British Empire—its vital need for the North American merchants, officials, and Indigenous communities to establish effective accommodating relationships, transgress boundaries (real or imagined), and reject certain regulations in order to achieve the empire’s goals.”

For more information, please visit:

Please contact Dr. Susan Sleeper-Smith, if you’d like see your work highlighted here.

PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST TO ETHNOHISTORIANS: Jennifer S. H. Brown, An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land


Athabasca University Press’s forthcoming publication, An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land, is a collection of investigations by Jennifer S. H. Brown into the surprising range of interactions among Indigenous people and newcomers in the ancient homeland of the Cree and Ojibwe people that came to be called Rupert’s Land. For four decades, Brown has examined the complex relationships that developed among the Algonquian communities and the missionaries, anthropologists, and others who found their way into Indigenous lives and territories.

More than an anthology, An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land illustrates Brown’s exceptional skill in the close study of texts—including oral documents, images, artifacts, and other cultural expressions—and elucidates the scholarly evolution of one of the leading ethnohistorians in Canada and the United States.

For more information visit: