Tightening My Focus

Hi, everyone,

As I relaxed towards the end of my first day in Syracuse, my mind kept coming back to a question I was asked earlier in the day. A local┬áprofessor with whom I met with for coffee politely, but bluntly, asked why I chose to focus on the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and wampum. I answered nervously, wondering if I could possibly give a “wrong” response. He listened intently and afforded advice where he could. (Which, to be fair, was in a lot of places.)┬áBut the question remained: what do I hope to accomplish with this research? Who am I helping? What does this do for both the academic world and the larger public as a whole? This professor asked these questions and forced me to unpack my thesis with intent; scholarship surrounding the Haudenosaunee Confederacy has a complicated relationship with the members of the nations themselves.

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