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Oct. 31: Colloquium lecture reexamines, challenges image of Pocahontas

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—The need to reconsider the familiar depiction of Pocahontas routinely recounted in historical narratives about colonial Virginia is the topic of a lecture by an award-winning author and historian Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.

The event is sponsored by the College's annual Center for the Humanities colloquium series, which is funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.

Camilla Townsend, Ph.D., professor of history at Rutgers University, reexamines and challenges the image of Pocahontas as a favored Indian princess and heroine. Drawing upon an extensive body of period literature, from poetry to newspapers, she recreates the culture of the early colonial settlement era in America to explore what Pocahontas experienced and what we have chosen to remember about her.

Townsend is the author of numerous books on indigenous history, including Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma and Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico. Her work has garnered several prizes and she has been awarded fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, among others.

The final fall colloquium event will be a lecture Dec. 4 by Patricia Hart, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and director of film studies at Purdue University, who will discuss the representation of trauma and memory in contemporary Spanish cinema. The series will resume in the spring.

For more information about the colloquium, contact Rebecca Prime, Ph.D., Sophia M. Libman NEH Professor of the Humanities, at