The Dawn of Detroit


READ: ‘The Dawn of Detroit’: An Interview with Historian Tiya Miles – AAIHS

Miles: I realized several years ago that although my histories of Cherokee slavery unfolded on farms and plantations, I was missing the opportunity to think more seriously about land and other features of the material (or natural) world in a way that might enrich my attempt at understanding. The Detroit study seemed to demand a greater awareness of environmental history for reasons that your question highlights, so I applied for a Mellon New Directions Fellowship to seek an orientation to the field of environmental history. I spent a year talking and studying with colleagues at Montana State University where there is a strong faculty cluster in this field, and I learned to ask new questions. My study of Detroit is not an environmental history per se, but it does bring in a consciousness not only of the critical import of the material environment to histories of race and power, but also of the notion that non-humans, such as rivers and beaver, have and deserve their own histories.

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Indian Slavery

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

Think about this

“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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