In this lecture, Dr. Lindsay Montgomery from the University of Arizona will be discussing Comanche imperialism and the mythology of western conquest.
One of the foundational narratives of American nationhood asserts the inevitable and tragic disappearance of Indigenous people. This is a story that has been taken up in many popular scholarly works, in what one might call “big picture history”. Many of these big picture histories seek to explain how exactly it came to be that the West won, and the rest apparently lost. This talk will offer a critique of such binary understandings of the past, using the Comanche as a case study. Drawing on rock art and historical evidence of Comanche imperialism in New Mexico, I offer an alternative account of colonization in the North American Southwest. This account demonstrates that Comanche peoples not only successfully resisted Spanish power but were in fact controlling a vast economic-political empire of their own.
See you there!