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Hayley Negrin specializes in Native American history, slavery, and the history of women and gender in the Atlantic World. Her current book project investigates the transformation of Indigenous kinship ties and politics under English chattel slavery in early North America. Using a mix of colonial and ethnohistorical sources, she tracks how Southeastern Native American women and children specifically were targeted and trafficked from their own sovereign borders into Carolina and Virginia plantations in the seventeenth century. She considers how they re-imagined community, politics, and relationships to the natural world even while under the deep stress of bondage. While scholars argue that settlers positioned Native Americans as a racial group in the twentieth century in order to strip them of their political identities as members of sovereign nations, her work traces this process back to the rise of racial slavery in the Atlantic World. According to the practice of matrilineal inheritance, Southeastern Native women ordered clan relationships in their own polities. Once on plantations, however, settlers commodified their reproductive labor and struck at the heart of Southeastern political inheritance by racializing the children of enslaved Southeastern Native women as “Indian” or “Negro.”
Hayley received her Ph.D. in History from New York University in 2018. She joined the faculty at UIC after completing a year-long dissertation fellowship at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been supported by the McNeil Center, the Mellon Foundation, the John Carter Brown Library, the Huntington Library, the Jamestowne Society, and the Virginia Historical Society. Her book chapter “Native Women Work the Ground: Civility and Enslavement in the Early American South” is forthcoming in Atlantic Environments in the American South (University of Georgia Press). At UIC she is teaching graduate and undergraduate classes on Native American history, women and gender in the Atlantic World, and early America. Once an active organizer in the NoDAPL movement in NYC, she is also interested in how contemporary Native nations are reframing conversations around sovereignty, the environment, citizenship, and gender equality to defend their rights and territories on the national and international stage. She is looking forward to working with the Native community at UIC and within Chicago more broadly.