The Newberry Seminar in Early American History, co-sponsored by the University of Chicago, DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and Northwestern University present:
"Howls, Snarls, and Musket Shots: Communication and Territory in Colonial New England"
Jon T. Coleman, Yale University
The colonization of New England exposed a deadly flaw in human communication: language did not travel well. To bridge their cultural differences, New England's humans borrowed other animals' signals and transformed the region's wildlife into cross-cultural symbols. Wolves participated in conquest as livestock devourers and communication facilitators. The Algonquians natives modeled their war cries on wolf howls; colonists and natives employed wolves as metaphors in diplomatic negotiations; and, finally, the severed heads of Indians and wolves decorated English towns, serving as the ultimate markers of territory. Wolves died in the thousands for their inability to understand humans as well as the humans' inability to understand each other.
We will pre-circulate papers electronically. To receive a copy please e-mail or call. Please include your e-mail address in all correspondence. The seminar format assumes that all participants have read the essay in advance, and that those requesting will attend the seminar.
Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
We encourage faculty members to call the seminar to the attention of graduate students.
The full schedule for this and other Scholl Center seminars is available at our website.
Scholl Center for Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
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