UNLV Anthropology PhD Student Joseph Curran Receives Newberry (NCAIS) Graduate Student Fellowship

UNLV Anthropology PhD student Joseph Curran

Apr. 19, 2021

Congratulations to UNLV Anthropology PhD student Joseph Curran. Joseph received the prestigious Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS) Graduate Student Fellowship for his project, “Maintaining Lifeways at the Edge Colonialism: Indigenous Practices of Conflict Negotiation in the Lower Colorado River Basin.” The fellowship is a summer research residency at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois, to conduct archival investigations. Here is some background on Joseph and his project.

I am a fourth-year doctoral candidate (ABD) in the UNLV Department of Anthropology. I completed my MA at California State University, Los Angeles where I began my interest in experimental archaeology and theories on conflict. My primary research revolves around why traditional Yuman methods of warfare were maintained during the historic period along the Colorado and Gila Rivers despite the influx of colonial weaponry and horses. This study will shed light on how Indigenous peoples negotiated within their own society and among other groups a changing world through resistance to, adoption of, and/or re-definition of colonial technology at the very doorstep of encroaching white migrants. By exploring the complexities behind why and how the Yuman peoples maintained traditional warfare strategies over 300 years, this study will add to the growing literature that complicates the interactions of Indigenous peoples with colonial materials and technologies prior to colonial settlement in the borderlands.