Contact: Jennifer Seltz, Western Washington University assistant professor of History, Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org, (360) 650-2510
BELLINGHAM – Ari Kelman, an associate professor of History at the University of California (Davis), will present “A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 in the Communications Facility room 110 on Western Washington University’s campus.
The presentation is free and open to the public, and is hosted by the History Department at Western.
The Sand Creek Massacre occurred on November 29, 1864, when 650 cavalrymen of the Colorado Territory militia attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho people encamped in the southeastern Colorado Territory. More than a hundred villagers were murdered, including women and children.
For nearly a century and a half, the Sand Creek Massacre has been at the center of struggles over history and memory in the American West. From the government investigations launched in the massacre’s immediate aftermath to the controversial work of so-called Indian reformers, including Helen Hunt Jackson, writing late in the 19th Century; to memorials erected in Colorado during the era of the Cold War; to the impact of popular histories like Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee;” to the recently opened Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. He will discuss the meaning and impact of the longstanding fight to shape and control memories of Sand Creek.
Kelman teaches a range of courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, the politics of memory, environmental history, Native American history, World War II, and America in the 1960s. He is the author of “A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek” and “A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans.”
He has contributed to outreach endeavors aimed at K-12 educators, and to a variety of public history projects, including documentary films for the History Channel and PBS American Experience series.
Kelman has received numerous grants and fellowships, most notably from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library.
He is now working on two books, “Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War” and “Caught Between Civil Wars: The Cherokee Nation from Removal to Reconstruction.”
For more information, please contact Jennifer Seltz at Jennifer.Seltz@wwu.edu or (360) 650-2510.