While students had to write to a target date and present to classmates during Finals, I had my own deadline, albeit one that fell a few weeks later when I was scheduled to present at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s annual meeting June 4-6 in Washington D.C. I landed on a panel on Indigenous New York, which turned out to be a fantastic combination of four scholars that we broke down further into pairs. Two were tackling land issues and sovereignty in the 18th century, but the other two–myself, and John Strong (whose name you’ll recognize if you’ve been reading any of these materials)–were working on individuals with personal ties. I had written on Nangenutch, and found myself on a panel with the other scholar who had written on Nangenutch, back in the 1990s, and who is now working on Montauketts of the following generation, when Nangenutch’s case had further contributed to their eroding land base and social and economic status, and many had made their way into Long Island’s whaling industry. One of his key figures is the son of the Montaukett sachem who received English orders about a fine and keeping Nangenutch away from East Hampton after he had escaped.
Meeting Dr. Strong was great–he was excited someone is writing about this case in a way different than how he approached it, and we had great conversations over email (we shared our papers and he sent me a few helpful comments), and again at the conference where I joined he and his wife for dinner, and then of course chatted when we ran into each other over the next few days. I’ve come away with more to think about, more to address, and a colleague who is willing to give a fuller version a read later on as I keep writing. In other words, this was one of my more productive conferences, which was fun–and also, student readers, how public presentations are supposed to work, right?