IC professor to speak at Salisbury University


Illinois College Professor of History Joseph Genetin-Pilawa will be a guest speaker at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md., on October 3, as part of the university’s Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program.

Genetin-Pilawa will be the first lecturer in a series of lectures at Salisbury. His presentation is titled “The Indians’ Capital City: Native Histories of Washington, D.C.” People often do not associate Native Americans with urban history, but thousands of Native American leaders, diplomats and families visited the nation’s capital over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In his lecture, Genetin-Pilawa will discuss the role of Leta Myers Smart, a member of the Omaha Nation, who in the 1950s forced the Architect of the Capitol to remove offensive statues from the cheek-blocks of the United States Capitol Building. Genetin-Pilawa says that Smart's story demonstrates how Native people have participated in reclaiming the landscape of the nation's capital.

Genetin-Pilawa is the author of Crooked Paths to Allotment: The Fight over Federal Indian Policy after the Civil War, as well as articles in the Journal of Women's History and Western Historical Quarterly.

In addition, he is authoring a series of posts for the New York Times blog, Disunion, commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War — his contributions will begin appearing in mid-October. Genetin-Pilawa is also the recipient of fellowships from the Newberry Library in Chicago, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the United States Capitol Historical Society, Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress.

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in the Worcester Room on the second floor of the Commons Building on Salisbury University’s campus. For more information, contact Genetin-Pilawa at


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