Author Jean O’Brien speaks about “Monumental Mobility” at Brown University forum

Jean M. O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) is Distinguished McKnight University Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, O’Brien is the author of Monumental Mobility: The Memory Work of Massasoit (with Lisa Blee, North Carolina, 2019). Dr. O’Brien’s spoke at Brown University on February 11, 2020 about the work of Indigenous intellectuals to reconfigure narratives of national origins in connection with the symbolism surrounding the Massasoit monument installed on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth in 1921 to mark the 300 the anniversary of the landing of the English. Such Indigenous engagements suggest the rich potential of Indigenous public historians to intervene in sanitized national narratives of origins. The author asks: Can the statue prompt viewers to reckon with of the structural violence of settler colonialism in commemorative landscapes, or does it further entrench celebratory narratives of national origins? The presentation was sponsored by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Brown University on February 11, 2020. (Pictured left: Dr. O’Brien with Sowams Heritage Area Coordinator David Weed.)


Photo by David O’Connell

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