"State of Apprehension: Race, Surveillance, and a Microhistory of White American Deputization" - Sarah Whitt

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sarah whitt







In this talk, Dr. Whitt discusses the United States’ long history of empowering white American citizens to police, surveil, and apprehend Indigenous, Black, and other populations of color for perceived "misbehavior." Using white civilians’ punishment of adult Indian women and men who attended the Carlisle Indian School as a case study, she examines a punitive history of racialized surveillance—and how new generations of Americans enact old settler violences.


Sarah Whitt is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley’s Department of Ethnic Studies, and a current UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at UC Riverside. Her manuscript, False Promises, interrogates the experiences of adult Indian women and men in settler institutions at the turn of the twentieth century, to demonstrate punitive connections between ostensibly distinct Progressive-era facilities. 


The Sterling Stuckey Lecture Series was created by the UC Riverside History Department in 2020 as a means for recognizing and honoring the achievements of Dr. Sterling Stuckey, a prominent scholar of African American History and political activist. The lecture series grew out of ongoing departmental conversations about structural racism and our responsibility to counteract it.


The Sterling Stuckey Lecture Series - Sarah Whitt

Sterling Stuckey Inaugural Lecture Series