History Revealed: Indian Wars Everywhere

History Revealed: Indian Wars Everywhere
Stefan Aune

Indian Wars Everywhere
Stefan Aune, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies, Williams College

History Revealed Series
Program Date: Thursday, January 18, 2024
Video on YouTube

In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library & Roseville Library

References to the Indian Wars, those conflicts that accompanied US continental expansion, suffuse American military history. From Black Hawk helicopters to the exclamation “Geronimo” used by paratroopers jumping from airplanes, words and images referring to Indians have been indelibly linked with warfare. In “Indian Wars Everywhere,” Stefan Aune shows how these resonances signal a deeper history, one in which the Indian Wars function as a shadow doctrine that influences US military violence. The United States’ formative acts of colonial violence persist in the actions, imaginations, and stories that have facilitated the spread of American empire, from the “savage wars” of the nineteenth century to the counterinsurgencies of the Global War on Terror. Ranging across centuries and continents, “Indian Wars Everywhere” considers what it means for the conquest of Native peoples to be deemed a success that can be used as a blueprint for modern warfare.
Stefan Aune graduated from Macalester College in 2011 and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.  He is a historian of the global United States whose research examines the intersections of race, colonialism, and violence. He teaches courses in American Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, empire and US foreign policy, critical theory, environmental history, and the history of violence. His writing has appeared in American Quarterly, Pacific Historical Review, and in the edited volume At War: The Military and American Culture in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. He is currently finishing a book manuscript titled Indian Wars Everywhere: Colonial Violence and the Shadow Doctrines of Empire, which explores how the violence that accompanied US continental expansion has influenced global US militarism from the nineteneth century through the War on Terror. His research reflects on what it means for the conquest of Native peoples to be used as a blueprint for modern warfare. Prior to Williams, Stefan spent three years as the Elihu Rose Scholar and a faculty fellow in the History Department at New York University.