March 24, 2011, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
"An appearance of vital piety & religion": New England Natives and the First Great Awakening
Linford D. Fisher, Brown University
The paper seeks to contextualize in a more nuanced way Native American participation in the First Great Awakening. In some senses, the “conversion” of many Indians in southern New England during the 1730s and 1740s can be seen as a continuation of, not a break with, prior strategies of creative cultural and religious adaptation and survival. Although the Mohegan and other Natives might have initially showed up to view the spectacle of revivalism, many of them soon found in revivalistic evangelicalism creative possibilities for their own communities. The “Indian Great Awakening,” then, while not discounting supernatural explanations or professions of belief given by its participants, was a logical—but not inevitable—result of three prior decades of renewed attempts of the English to evangelize their Native neighbors and the Indians’ increasing attempts to procure for themselves education, literacy, and acceptance into the larger Euroamerican colonial society.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Early American History and Culture
Co-sponsored by the History Departments of DePaul University, Lake Forest College, Loyola University Chicago, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
Coordinated by Betsy Erkkila, Northwestern University and Robert Morrissey, Lake Forest College
Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
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Chicago IL 60610
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