AYA Redpath Seminar - Since 1701: Yale Celebrates the History of Detroit - Speaker Bios

The Association of Yale Alumni, the Yale Alumni Association of Michigan and Wayne State University are delighted to host the AYA Redpath Seminar, 'Since 1701: Yale Celebrate the History of Detroit' on Saturday, October 1, 2016. Please see below for more information about our speakers:

Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale and was on the faculty from 1999 to 2009 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A graduate of McGill University, he holds graduate degrees in History from UCLA and the University of Washington and is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the early American West (Harvard, 2006), a study of the American Great Basin that garnered half a dozen professional prizes, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

In addition to serving in professional associations and on the editorial boards of American Quarterly and Ethnohistory, Professor Blackhawk has led the establishment of two fellowships, one for American Indian Students to attend the Western History Association’s annual conference, the other for doctoral students working on American Indian Studies dissertations at Yale named after Henry Roe Cloud (Winnebago, Class of 1910).

Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey is a doctoral candidate in the Departments of History and African American Studies at Yale University, where he holds the Felix G. Evangelist, Douglass R. Bomeisler, and Falk Foundation Fellowships. He is writing a dissertation on twentieth-century black activism and freedom linkages between Canada and the United States. Wendell is a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellow.
In addition to academe, he has more than ten years of experience working in youth gang intervention, community development, education, and social policy in Canada—as well as championing access to quality education for impoverished students, and promoting peace-building and inter-ethnic dialogue in sub-Saharan Africa. Wendell earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University


Jay Gitlin received his BA and PhD at Yale. His work focuses on the history of the French in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes. He is currently working on The Rise and Fall of Modern Shopping.  The Bourgeois Frontier: French Towns, French Traders & American Expansion was published in 2010 by Yale University Press and won the 2010 Alf Andrew Heggoy Prize for the best book in French colonial history from the French Colonial Historical Society.  He has published numerous articles and contributed chapters to the Oxford History of the American West (Oxford, 1994) and The Louisiana Purchase and the Emergence of the American Empire (Congressional Quarterly, 2003). He is also co-editor and co-author of Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America’s Western Past (W.W. Norton, 1992).

Gitlin teaches courses on American Indian history, the history of the American West, Canadian history, and the suburbanization of America.

Marc W. Kruman is the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Citizenship and Professor of History at Wayne State University. He has taught American history at Wayne State since 1975. Professor Kruman is the author of two books—Between Authority and Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America (1997), and Parties and Politics in North Carolina, 1836-1865 (1983)—and numerous articles. His current research focuses on the development of the interdisciplinary field of citizenship studies and the history of citizenship. He has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities at Harvard University and a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship. In 1999 he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Rome. At Wayne State University, he has received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award (twice) and a Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship.

Education: Ph.D., Yale University, M.A., Yale University, M.Phil., Yale University

B.S., New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University


Karen Marrero joined the Department of History in Fall 2014, where she teaches courses in early American and Native American history. Her current book project explores the mechanisms by which seventeenth and eighteenth-century Native American and French kin networks exploited Detroit’s status as a “transitional location” and diplomatic center to divert and revalue resources and amass political, economic, and cultural prestige. These families understood what European imperial agents failed to comprehend, namely, that Detroit, as part of Iroquoian and Algonquian hunting territories occupied an essential location and explicit function in indigenous concepts of domesticity. Marrero also studies the northern border in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as a site of contestation between Indigenous, British, and American nations. She conducts research in the areas of: colonial North America; Native America and Indigenous Peoples; Early Modern Atlantic world; comparative U.S./Canada; transnational and borderlands history; women and gender; and memory, narrative, and the nature of historical truth and authenticity. 

Education: Ph.D., Yale University, M.A., University of Windsor,  B.A., University of Windsor