A Conversation with R. David Edmunds




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We sat down for A Conversation With ... Dr. R. David Edmunds, the Anne and Chester Watson Chair in History in the UT Dallas School of Arts and Humanities.
Hosted by Communication Manager Brandon V. Webb

Recorded April 27, 2009

Edmunds is an expert on American Western history, Native American History, and the Potawatomi, Shawnee and Great Lakes Tribes.

He was a content and historical adviser to PBS’ American Experience program for the five-part series “We Shall Remain.” PBS describes the series as a provocative multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. The five episodes were “After the Mayflower,” “Tecumseh’s Vision,” “Trail of Tears,” “Geronimo,” and “Wounded Knee.”

Dr. Edmunds earned the distinguished Francis Parkman Prize recognizing outstanding nonfiction historical writing and has written or edited nearly a dozen books, including The Potawatomis: Keepers of the Fire. He has been recognized with awards or fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Newberry Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in addition to winning five teaching awards from four separate universities.

During our visit, Dr. Edmunds shared his thoughts on:

How his Cherokee heritage contributes to his research perspective; how an undergraduate chemistry major becomes a world-renowned expert on Native American history; his philosophy about communicating broadly to ignite interest in tribal people and their heritage; Hollywood’s portrayal of Native people — some films actually get it right; how his passion for native history and culture keeps him writing, researching and sharing the stories of native peoples.



Great Lakes tribes, North American Indians, American experience, Shawnees, Edmunds, R. David, Native American history, Potawatomis