Walking Tour with Prof Coll Thrush

Lead by Coll Thrush - Professor of History and Associate Faculty in Critical Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver

Paining of people crossing the road

One of the most mistaken perceptions of Indigenous history is that it is, by definition, not urban – that cities and Indigenous people exist at the opposite ends of Big History, with “real” Indigenous people representing the past and cities the future. In fact, Indigenous and urban histories have been entangled in ways that are both surprising and profound.

Drawn from the research behind his book Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire (Yale 2016), historian Coll Thrush will offer a two-hour walking tour that focuses on sites of Indigenous history across a swathe of the urban landscape.

We will hear stories of Indigenous children, women, and men who came to London, willingly or otherwise, from territories that are currently known as Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, beginning in 1502 and continuing into the present. Using images, historical texts, and even an archivally grounded poetry reading, Professor Thrush will invite us to think about the ways in which London has been enmeshed in global networks of power in ways that had dramatic consequences for Indigenous peoples around the world, and for the city itself. Through accounts of Hawaiian, Aboriginal Australian, Mohawk, and other Indigenous travellers to London, we’ll see that histories are never more compelling than when they are experienced in place – and our places here are both iconic and Indigenous: Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, and more.

Coll Thrush is professor of history and associate faculty in Critical Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, on unceded Musqueam First Nation territory. He is also the author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place (Washington 2007/2017).

The tour will begin, rain or shine, at 13:00 just outside the Covent Garden Tube Station on Friday, December 6.

Please note that participation in the walking tour is limited to MA, PhD students, faculty, and to 20 people.

Organised by Professor David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld) 

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6 Dec 2019

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London