Native American Studies Researcher is Dartmouth’s Eastman Dissertation Fellow

Mattie Harper

Mattie Harper is Dartmouth’s 2011 Eastman Dissertation Fellow. (photo courtesy Dartmouth Graduate Forum)

Mattie Harper, a doctoral candidate in ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is Dartmouth’s 2011 Eastman Dissertation Fellow.  “I knew of Dartmouth’s reputation as an Ivy League school, but what really stood out is that it has one of the top Native American studies programs—I knew that in coming here I’d have access to all the best resources and there would be other experts who could provide support throughout my research,” she says.

Harper’s dissertation, titled “French Africans in Ojibwe Country,” is a historical project that focuses on a family descended from French African slaves who intermarry with Ojibwe people in the western Great Lakes region. Asked for her dissertation in a nutshell, Harper explains, “I examine how identities change across four generations—examining the racial terms “black,” “white,” “Indian,” and “mixed blood”—and I’m looking at the ways in which racial and cultural identities fluctuate. It’s a research project, but there’s also a personal element, since it’s reflective of my own background.”

Read the full story at the Dartmouth Graduate Forum.