From Sea to Shining Sea: Travelers, Tourists, and Tribal Sovereignty


Thursday, March 10, 2022

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Central Time (US & Canada)
Ruggles Hall


This program is free and open to all; free tickets required. The registration period has closed for this event.

Registration ends at 3 pm on the day of the program. Doors open half an hour before the program begins; seating is first-come, first-served. If seats remain available about ten minutes before the event’s start, walk-ins without tickets will be admitted, so please plan to arrive before then.

The Newberry is using new registration system for our free public programs; please create an account if you haven't. After clicking the 'Register Now' button, you'll be prompted to either input your login information or click 'Create an Account and Register.'


What does it mean to be a traveler in the United States, whether voluntarily or involuntarily? What does it mean to be a tourist? How does tourism shape (or warp) our understanding of American history?

Historian Katrina Phillips explores these questions in the context of Native American history. Through her examinations of late 19th and early 20th-century tourism across the United States, Phillips argues that tourism, nostalgia, and history converge to form what she calls “salvage tourism”—a set of practices that documented the histories, languages, and cultures of Indigenous people while reinforcing a belief that Native American societies were inevitably disappearing.

Join historians Katrina Phillips and Joseph Whitson in conversation as they draw on the interconnected themes of tourism, American expansion, and Native histories. Placing these themes within the history of the forced removal of Native nations from their homelands, Phillips and Whitson will explore what it means to move through spaces and places.

This event is part of programming for our exhibition Crossings: Mapping American Journeys, which will open at the Newberry on February 25, 2022.

Purchase Staging Indigeneity online from the Newberry Bookshop.

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We look forward to seeing attendees at the Newberry, where you can now visit our reading rooms, exhibition galleries, and bookshop.

Please note: This program will be held in person at the Newberry. As we welcome visitors to the library, we're continuing to closely monitor health and safety conditions related to COVID-19 in Chicago. Click here for our visitor policy.



Katrina Phillips, an enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, is Assistant Professor of American Indian History at Macalester College and author of the new book, Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American HistoryWhile earning PhD in history from the University of Minnesota, she served as a co-chair for the University’s interdisciplinary American Indian and Indigenous Studies Workshop. 

Joseph Whitson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the Kaplan Institute on the Humanities at Northwestern University. His work brings together political ecology, Indigenous studies, and digital humanities in projects that seek to address a range of environmental justice issues. His current book project, Marketing the Wilderness: The Digital Battle over Public Land in the United States, looks at the ways outdoor retail companies and American Indian activists use social media to shape public land access, policy, and representation in the United States. 


Ruggles Hall

Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610

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