Starna to Offer Haan Memorial Lecture on Native American Studies

Starna to Offer Haan Memorial Lecture on Native American Studies

February 24, 2014

Dr. William Starna will speak at Hartwick College on the subject "Discovery and Dispossession, or Whatever Happened to American Indian Lands?" on Thursday, March 13, 2014. The talk will be given at 8 p.m. in the Foreman Gallery, Anderson Center for the Arts, on the Hartwick College campus. Admission is open to the community free of charge.  The event is the 2013-14 lecture sponsored by The Richard L. Haan Fund for Native American Studies.

Starna frames his discussion of American Indian land with startling data. "Nearly three million American Indians comprise 566 federally recognized tribes and Alaskan native villages," he says. "Forty-percent of these people live on or near one of the over 300 reservations within the contiguous 48 states. Yet the total land base of these reservations is only about 2 percent of the United States. This presentation addresses the question of when, how, and why American Indians lost the other 98 percent."

Starna is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the State University of New York College at Oneonta. He has held visiting appointments at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, the University at Albany, and Binghamton University, and has served as adjunct curator of ethnology at the New York State Museum.

A longtime student of the Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples of eastern North America, in addition to federal-state-Indian relations, Starna is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a Senior Fellowship at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the Donald M. Blinken Fellowship in Academic Administration at SUNY Central Offices, and a New York State Library Research Residency. Starna has worked as a consultant with the Native American Rights Fund for more than 30 years. He has also been consultant to more than 20 American Indian tribes on treaty rights, land claims, and the federal acknowledgment process. Starna is the author of numerous scholarly essays and several books, including his most recent work, From Homeland to New Land: A History of the Mahican Indians, 1600-1830, which was published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska Press.

The Richard L. Haan Fund for Native American Studies was endowed by Richard and Gerri Haan, and serves to further Native American Studies at Hartwick College. Haan devoted his career to raising students' consciousness about American Indians. He used the historical experience of America's Indians to turn American history upside down. He was a widely respected scholar on the relations between 18th-Century colonial settlers and the Native American communities that they unsettled. He published well-respected and oft-cited essays on the Iroquois Treaty Chain. He was a sharp-tongued critic of Hollywood's depiction of Indians and a fearsome but beloved teacher.

Previous speakers in the Richard L. Hann series include Alan Taylor (2005), Guillaume Aubert (2006), Amy Schutt (2007), Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (2012), Alan Michelson (2013), and Starna (2008). 

For further information, contact Professor of English Dr. Robert Bensen at (607) 431-4902 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031