Megan Conger, University of Georgia
Friends of the MCEAS Dissertation Fellow
“Reevaluating timeframes for early Indigenous-European encounters in southern Ontario, Canada, AD 1550-1650”
Weaving together radiocarbon dating, analysis of ethnohistoric documents, and material analysis of European-manufactured items, this research investigates shifting relationships between Indigenous and European communities in southern Ontario, Canada ca AD 1550-1650. I aim to revise archaeological chronology and the historical narratives it serves, in part by abandoning a model for measuring the passage of time that has employed an inbuilt theoretical reliance on capitalist epistemology. The creation of independent radiocarbon-based time frames for human action shifts the emphasis of historical narrative into a space where Indigenous agency is foregrounded and those past persons are recognized as specifically-situated, active participants in the colonial process. Drawing together diverse scholarship in world-systems and colonial interactions, this project conceptualizes culture contact and exchange, mechanisms of tentative world-system expansion, as dual processes which were negotiated by the decisions, actions, and dispositions of Indigenous people, in the context of historically-situated Indigenous world-systems.