Locality and Region Seminar: Tuesday, 25 March

25 March, 2014 - 17:15
© America Meredith, London Calling,  2012

Please join us for the next seminar of 2014 in the VCH/IHR Locality and Region seminars at Senate House.

Tuesday 25 March 2014 - 17:15 University of London, Senate House, Gordon Room G34


“Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire”

Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia


Urban and Indigenous histories have usually been treated as though they are mutually exclusive. Coll Thrush’s work, however, has argued that the two kinds of history are in fact mutually constitutive. In this presentation, Dr. Thrush will present material from his current book project, a history of London framed through the experiences of Indigenous people who travelled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Stories of Inuit captives in the 1570s, Cherokee delegations in the 1760s, Hawaiian royals in the 1820s, and more – as well as the memory of these travellers in present-day communities – show the ways in which London is one ground of Indigenous history and settler colonialism.


Coll Thrush is a graduate of Fairhaven College at Western Washington University and the University of Washington, Coll Thrush formerly served as historian for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe in his hometown of Auburn, Washington. He is associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he teaches Indigenous, environmental, cultural, and world history and is part of a faculty working group on Indigenous classroom issues and decolonizing pedagogies.

Coll is the author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place, which won the 2007 Washington State Book Award for History/Biography, and co-editor with Colleen Boyd of Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence: Native Ghosts in North American History & Culture. His article “City of the Changers: Indigenous People and the Transformation of Seattle’s Watersheds” was named Best Article of 2006 by the Urban History Association, and his article “Vancouver the Cannibal: Cuisine, Encounter, and the Dilemma of Difference on the Northwest Coast, 1774-1808” won the Robert F. Heizer prize for best article of 2011 from the American Society for Ethnohistory.

Professor Thrush is currently working on Indigenous London, which examines that city’s history through the experiences of Indigenous travelers – willing or otherwise – from territories that became the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Beginning in the fall of 2013, he will be a visiting fellow at the Institute for Historical Research of the University of London and the Eccles Centre Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library.