Events Calendar

Benjamin Justice: High School Teachers Institute

Friday, March 31, 2023, 09:00am - 02:30pm


The Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis


"Images of American History"

 Friday, March 31, 2023

9a - 2:30p, AB 6051

Benjamin Justice, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University

This workshop explores one of the oldest and most bizarre visual paradoxes in American culture: white settler’s use of images of “Indians” as symbols of civic authority and identity. During the first three centuries of European colonization, images of Native Americans appeared on maps, in travel accounts, and even on great seals of government. These depictions served many purposes, squaring the “discovery” of the Americas with medieval, Biblical, and Ancient history and science, resolving the legal problems caused by settlement, and promoting racist stereotypes. By the time of the American revolution and early national period, non-indigenous Americans deployed images of Indians as symbols of civic identity, even as settlers teamed with the federal and state government to remove and marginalize Indigenous people from land and society. In this workshop will explore the evolution and meaning of these forms of imagery as well as teaching strategies for determining whether and how to use these (often offensive) images in the history classroom.