Joshua Piker
Biography:  I grew up in Swarthmore, Pa., and graduated from Oberlin College with majors in anthropology and history.  I then took two years to travel when I could and work (as a canvasser, waiter, temp., and archaeologist) when I had to.  In 1991, I enrolled in the Anthropology Dept. of Cornell University; I transferred to the History Dept. three years later.  The chairman of my graduate committee was Daniel Usner.  I received my Ph.D. in 1998, and spent the 1998-1999 academic year teaching at three colleges in the Portland, Or. area.  The fall 1999 semester is my first at OU.

Research:

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The aim of my research is to find new ways to integrate Native American history into our narratives of American history.  My dissertation focused on the eighteenth-century Creek town of Oakfuskee (located in what is now Alabama).  In this project, I investigate the "peculiar connections" that linked this one Indian community to the Euro-American communities to its east.  In doing so, I ask historians to do two things: take seriously the idea that we need to look beneath tribal labels to uncover the nuances and complexities of colonial-era Indian life; show a willingness to trace socio-cultural processes across political and cultural boundaries.  I am currently revising my dissertation for publication. To see my curriculum vita, click here.

Teaching:

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 I was hired at OU as a colonial Americanist who could also teach courses in Native American history.  My courses for 1999-2000 include the first half of the American survey, the American Colonies, and Eastern Native Americans in the Colonial Period, in addition to several directed reading classes.  In the future, I hope to teach undergraduate and graduate seminars focused on: race and ethnicity in early America, colonial communities, the historiography of Native Americans, and the relation between history and anthropology.

Course syllabi for Fall 1999.

History 1483

History 3083: American Colonies

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