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.


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.


 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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