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Grant number: FT-60443-13

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Susan Burch
Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753-6004)

Native American Lives and the History of South Dakota's Hiawatha Asylum, 1920-1934

"Dislocated" examines removals, institutions, and community lives in U.S. history. It centers on "dislocated histories" from South Dakota's Hiawatha Asylum, the only federal psychiatric hospital for American Indians. Beginning with its first inmate in December 1902, the Asylum ultimately housed nearly 400 men, women, and children from 17 states and nearly 50 tribes before scandals closed it in 1934. Exploration of this Asylum community's complex history reveals "large questions in small places." Individual histories of inmates and their families are inextricably tied to broader stories of forced removals; the rise of penal, medical, and disability institutions; eugenics; and contests over citizenship and American identity in the last 200 years. Resistance, community, belonging, and recovery frame this work. It expands the boundaries of Native American, disability, and general U.S. social and cultural history by bringing these multiple analyses into conversation with each other.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 7/31/2013