My Reflection on History, COVID-19, and Indigenous Life: Working Papers in Critical Disaster Studies


I am excited to share some new work: my contribution to the Working Papers in Critical Disaster Studies series from NYU Gallatin School’s Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies. Using a historical case study, it argues that the disproportionate crisis of mortality, morbidity, and memory striking Indigenous communities amidst the Covid-19 pandemic results from historical and ongoing restrictions to tribal sovereignty. I hope this piece also conveys the superior leadership of tribal governments and Indigenous communities in past epidemiological crises as well as the one we face now.

Each of the papers in this series aims to historicize elements of the Covid-19 crisis for use in undergraduate humanities courses. The work is organized under the Historical Approaches to Covid-19 Working Group of the National Science Foundation-funded Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network and the CONVERGE facility at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Epidemics and Empires: Historicizing Covid-19 in Native Communities,” Working Papers in Critical Disaster Studies no. 7, Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies, New York University, New York, July 28, 2021.  

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