Native American History; Native American and Indigenous Studies; Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Studies; Early American History
1015 Clemens Hall
Buffalo NY, 14260
Phone: (716) 645-0833
Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, PhD, specializes in Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a focus on Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her broader teaching and research interests include early American history, American Indian social and intellectual histories; settler colonialism, especially as it relates to legal and educational systems; conceptualizations of space, place, and land tenure in Indian Country; and public history. Her work has or will be published in American Indian Quarterly and several collections of scholarly work. She is currently revising a manuscript titled, "After the Whirlwind: Haudenosaunee People and the Emergence of U.S. Settler-coloniailsm, 1780-1825."
Prof. Mt. Pleasant has presented her research at numerous scholarly conferences organized by the American Society for Ethnohistory, the American Studies Association, the Bershire Conference on the History of Women, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She has been invited to speak at historical societies, libraries, museums, high schools, and American Indian cultural resource organizations. From 2010 to 2012, Prof. Mt. Pleasant served as co-chair of the host committee for the 2012 annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, a conference that drew over 800 scholars to the Mohegan Sun conference center. In 2013 she was elected to a three-year term on the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.
When she isn’t conducting research, writing, or teaching, Prof. Mt. Pleasant enjoys consulting on museum exhibits and appreciates opportunities to share current scholarship with general audiences. She has been a guest on CNN and her work has been profiled in the New York Times and in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
Research interests: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history before 1900; Native American social history; Native American intellectual history; Settler colonialism; Colonial schooling; Space, place, and land tenure in Indian Country; Emotional labor and BIPOC faculty.
"My current book project, After the Whirlwind: Haudenosaunee People and the Emergence of US Settler Colonialism is a study of the Buffalo Creek reservation, focusing on the community’s history between the Revolutionary War and the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. This community formed in the crucible of the Revolution was a site of recovery and resistance for Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people. It was a political center where people debated rapidly changing circumstances (including vigilante and state-sponsored violence, land speculation, colonial assertions of jurisdiction, and aggressive proselytizing) and developed strategies that enabled their persistence in the face of settler colonialism. By carefully examining the development of the community, the pressures it faced, and the resources people drew upon to resist or redirect these pressures, I explain the ways settler colonialism emerged on the ground during the earliest years of the American republic. In doing so I challenge pervasive declension narratives as well as triumphalist discussions of US expansion, prompting specialists in American history as well as general readers to reconsider their notions about colonialism and the place of American Indian people in US society."