Stephen Warren

Stephen Warren
Associate Professor
American Indian histories and cultures
Ethno-historical methods
Office: 
161 SH
Office Hours: 
T/W 12:30-2:00 and by appointment
Phone Number: 
(319) 335-2064

Current Curriculum Vitae

As both a teacher and a scholar, Stephen Warren emphasizes that the past is never safely historical. By contributing to the cultural survival of several different federally-recognized American Indian tribes, his students begin to view academic research with a fresh perspective; as avenues for serving the world rather than knowledge that is peculiar and limited to the college classroom.

In his first book, The Shawnees and Their Neighbors, 1795-1870 (The University of Illinois Press, 2005), Warren uses Shawnee history to explore how the Age of Jackson led Native peoples to adopt national governments modeled after the United States. But tribal governments in the nineteenth century occupied unstable ground among their people, and tribal members often voted with their feet and established new governments rather than abide by the “imagined communities” of the removal era. Warren’s second book, The Worlds the Shawnees Made: Migration and Violence in Early America (The University of North Carolina Press, January 2014), stitches together archaeology, history, and ethnography to show how Shawnees made a life for themselves at the crossroads of empires and competing tribes, embracing mobility and often moving willingly toward violent borderlands. Through migration, they and their neighbors adapted to disease, warfare, and dislocation by interacting with colonizers as slavers, mercenaries, guides, and traders. These adaptations enabled them to preserve their cultural identities and resist coalescence, even as they became known as “the greatest travelers in America.” Warren is currently working on a book exploring food sovereignty initiatives among federally-recognized tribes originally from the eastern half of North America. His research has been supported by numerous fellowships and grants, including a Mellon Sabbatical Fellowship (2010-2011) and a Gilder-Lehrman Short-Term Residential Fellowship from the John D. Rockefeller Library at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (2010).

Warren is currently the lead historian on a federally-funded grant sponsored by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma (2013-2016).  In addition, he is working on numerous collaborative projects between the Ohio Historical Society and the ten federally-recognized tribes that were subject to ethnic cleansing and forcibly removed from Ohio prior to the Civil War.  In 2009, Warren was a consultant and commentator on the WGBH/American Experience documentary, Tecumseh’s Vision.

Teaching: 

Upper level courses: American Indians and their Interpreters; Service Learning in Indian Country: The Algonquian Tribes; Revolutionary America; Colonial America; Illinois History/History of the Midwest; American West; Senior Seminar: The Civil War: Public History.  Lower-level courses: Gateway Seminar for majors: Introduction to Historical Research; First-year general education classes include: American History: Revolution to Civil War & Civil War to World War II; Europe, 1300-1700; Less is More: A History of Simplicity in America

Awards & Service: 

Recipient, Mellon Foundation Sabbatical Fellowship ($30,000), American Philosophical Society, 2010-2011.

Recipient, Gilder-Lehrman Short-Term Residential Fellowship, John D. Rockefeller Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Fall 2010. 

Participant, National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Seminar on American Indian Ethnohistory, held at the University of Oklahoma, June 2007.

Faculty Adviser, SHEAR/Mellon Summer Seminar Participant at the Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, June 2007.  My student, Jim Beatty, also received a Donald Anderson Fellowship from Augustana College for his collaborative project, with Absentee Shawnee elder George Blanchard, entitled “Interpreting the Shawnee Sun,” which was later published by Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains.

Recipient, American Philosophical Society Phillips Fund Grant for Native American Research, Spring 1998.

Recipient, Alfred M. Landon Historical Research Grant, Kansas State Historical Society, Spring 1998.

Best Paper Prize in Native American History, 1996 Bluegrass Symposium