As both a teacher and a scholar, Stephen Warren emphasizes that the past is never safely historical. In the classes he teaches, he asks his students 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 Native peoples adopted national governments modeled after the United States in response to American missionaries and the federal policy of Indian removal. National governments occupied unstable ground among their people, and tribal citizens 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, 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 identity and resist coalescence, even as Shawnees became known as “the greatest travelers in America.”
Warren’s recent scholarship reflects his growing interest in community-engaged scholarship. In 2017, he edited The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma: Resilience through Adversity (University of Oklahoma Press). This book was the product of a three year, tribally directed project funded by the Administration for Native Americans. In April 2018, he co-authored “Salvaging the Salvage Anthropologist: Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin, Carl Voegelin, and the Future of Ethnohistory,” with Ben Barnes, the Second Chief of the Shawnee Tribe. In 2019, (also with Ben Barnes) he anticipates the release of a second edited volume, Native Americans and Community Engagement, which offers models of collaborative scholarship in the United States and Canada.
His research has been supported by numerous fellowships and grants, including a Mellon Sabbatical Fellowship (2010-2011), a Gilder-Lehrman Short-Term Residential Fellowship from the John D. Rockefeller Library at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (2010), and a Lester J. Cappon Fellowship in Documentary Editing from the Newberry Library (2014). In 2009, Warren was a consultant and commentator on the WGBH/American Experience documentary, Tecumseh’s Vision.
- HIST:1004 Issues:Community & Society in History -- War and Terrorism in the Americas
- HIST:1262 American History 1877-Present
- HIST:2151 Introduction to the History Major -- Public History:American Indian Museums and Interpretive Planning
- HIST:3995 History Honors Research Seminar
- HIST:4249 History of Iowa and the Midwest
- HIST:6140 Engaged Scholarship in the Humanities
- AINS:1049 Introduction to American Indian and Native Studies
- AINS:2290 Food and Culture in Indian Country
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.