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Alaina E. Roberts, Ph.D.

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Alaina E. Roberts, Ph.D.


Indiana University, 2017


Alaina Roberts is currently working on her first book manuscript titled, A Transnational Reconstruction: The Evolution of Citizenship, Land, and Community in the West. In this manuscript, she argues that the colonization of Indian land was an important component of the post-war reconstruction of the United States, and that as white Americans increasingly encroached on western Indian land, American legislators, and indigenous peoples themselves, debated the virtues of Indian citizenship. Further, the same conversations that occurred in the United States about Black humanity, intelligence, and ability to vote, hold office, and partake in citizenship, took place within slaveholding Indian nations. Putting these in conversation with one another reveals how these dialogues both fed off disagreements over increasing settlement in the west and the manner and degree of federal intervention in local definitions of societal membership. Through this perspective, the Reconstruction Era was a multinational reconceptualization of Black and Indian citizenship and the politics of land ownership.

Dr. Roberts is now serving as the Dietrich Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh ( 


(January 2018) “Field Notes: A Hammer and a Mirror: Tribal Disenrollment and Scholarly Responsibility,” Western Historical Quarterly vol. 49, no. 1

(Forthcoming) “The Specter of the ‘Black Indian’ in American History,” Cultural Considerations in American Indian Mental Health, ed. Harvette Gray (Oxford University Press); this essay will also appear in Cultural Considerations in African American Mental Health, ed. Harvette Gray (Oxford University Press)