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Heather Flynn Roller
Colgate University (Hamilton, NY 13346-1386)
Contact Strategies: Independent Indians in the Brazilian Borderlands, 1750-1850

A book-length study of indigenous political life on the Brazilian frontier during the 18th and 19th centuries.

This book project examines the political choices and motivations of independent Indians in the interior of Brazil during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Focusing on their interactions with Brazilian society, the study explores the ways in which Indian nations sought to preserve their autonomy through various forms of contact, and how these strategies changed over the course of Brazil’s transition from colony to republic. The challenges of getting at the perspectives and aims of independent Indians are formidable, because they did not keep their own written records. Despite these limitations, important insights about native political strategies can be reached through a critical reading of the rich documentary record on borderlands conflicts and interactions in Brazil. The project contributes to recent work across the humanities that attempts to reconstruct the perspectives, values, and motivations of illiterate or non-Western peoples.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Latin American History; Native American Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018