Writing Westward Podcast Episode 021
Published by High Country News, March 30, 2020
Dr. Robert Lee is a University Lecturer in American History at the University of Cambridge. He earned is Ph.D. in History from US Berkeley and has a long list of awards and honors to his name. At the end of March 2020, he and journalist Tristan Ahtone published an article with High Country News entitled "Land-grab Universities" and released a companion digital history website landgrabu.org that provide data vizualizations to accompany the article.
This multi-year project examined the Indigenous lands that were used to fund the establishment of Land-Grant Universities around the nation. In the American West, many universities continue to generate revenue for these lands. This work pairs with the growing movement in higher education to study how institutions benefited from slavery in their early years, but it perhaps more universal in scope and relevance. It reveals how the sale of Native lands - especially in the West - were central to the founding of state universities. It reminds us that the lands used to endow public universities were not simply a "donation" from the federal government to the states. They represented millions of acres of recently, and often violently, expropriated Indigenous lands. The project was funded in part by the Pulizter Center and Fund for Invetigative Journalism.
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- Host and Producer Brenden W. Rensink is Associate Director of the Redd Center, an Associate Professor of History at BYU, General Editor of the Intermountain Histories project, and author of the 2018 book Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands.
- Podcast Music was written and recorded by local Provo composer by Micah Dahl Anderson.
- Episodes are recorded via Skype or in person and amateurishly engineered and produced by Professor Rensink.
- To submit a book to be considered for a podcast episode, email email@example.com.