Successful Completion of PhD by History Student

Date: 20 July 2011

It gives the Department of History great pleasure to be able to announce another PhD success in the department.

Rachel Roberts's thesis 'The construction of the 'half-breed Indian' in American culture from the 1890s to the 1930s' was passed 'forthwith' by the external examiners in July 2011. The external examiner was Professor Martin Halliwell, (University of Leicester) and the internal examiner was Dr. Jonathan Munby (LICA). Rachel was supervised by Dr Tim Hickman.

The thesis examines the numerous cultural productions of love and sex across the 'colour line' between Native and white Americans, and the image of the resultant 'half breed' figure. These images are then set against the background of the official American 'Indian' policy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Dawes Act (1887), and the change to its successor, the Indian Reorganisation Act (1934). By examining these cultural images and political models in conjunction with one another, this thesis brings the 'half breed' character out of the shadow of the much more studied tragic mulatto, and traces insidious racist beliefs evident in both acts, which, though so radically different on the surface, were based on similar racial assumptions.


Further information

Associated departments and research centres: History