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Program in British Studies

'White Mother to a Dark Race'

Margaret Jacobs (Nebraska)'

Fri, February 7, 2014 | Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

2:45 PM - 4:30 PM

In the late nineteenth century, the United States government and Australian state administrations adopted a new strategy for managing their indigenous populations: removing indigenous children and sending them to schools and other institutions. White women became key figures in carrying out these policies. Officials explained their efforts as a compassionate departure from the violence of the past, but they often used brute force to remove children, and their policies still served the settler colonial aim of eliminating indigenous peoples.
Margaret Jacobs is the Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her book, White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940, won the 2010 Bancroft Prize from Columbia University. Her current research examines the fostering and adoption of indigenous children in the United States, Canada, and Australia in the second half of the twentieth century.

Sponsored by: Faculty Seminar on British Studies

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