Good Afternoon!


It’s just come to my attention that there’s been a change of room location for Royce Gildersleeve’s upcoming defense.  It will take place in the Johnson Center, Room 337 (Meeting Room G) instead of Room 333 (Meeting Room D).  All other information in the announcement below remains the same.


Thank you,



Emily Gibson | Graduate Coordinator

History and Art History | College of Humanities and Social Sciences
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office hours: 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday






From: Emily M Gibson
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 3:11 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Dissertation Announcement - Royce Gildersleeve


From: CHSS Grad Admins [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Susan Turriziani
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 2:53 PM
[log in to unmask]
Subject: Dissertation Announcement - Royce Gildersleeve


To: The George Mason University Community

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the following dissertation defense:

Royce Gildersleeve
Major Professor: Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri

Toward the Racial Binary: Race, Property and the Dispossession of Indians in Early Virginia

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
George Mason University, Fairfax Campus
Johnson Center, Room 333

The dispossession of Virginia Indians took the form of a long confrontation over the cultural power of legal Indianness. In the aftermath of the Powhatan wars of the early 17th century, Indian tribes that had been members of the Powhatan confederacy found themselves categorized as tributary Indians, placed upon reservation land, and bound to the strict laws of a fledgling Virginia colony. Tribes not associated with the Powhatan confederacy were categorized as non-tributary, and for a time existed on the periphery of the Jamestown area, what was then the center of Anglo-Indian Virginia. Both of these groups became embroiled in legal contests that saw their work ethic questioned, their identity as an Indian people challenged, as well as other obstacles—such as having their children systematically taken away from them by the state for use as indentured servants. These communities, all living “behind the frontier,” in close approximation to both Euro-Americans and African-Americans, were constantly defending their identity as an Indian people in order to fight off attempts at dispossession. These attempts, in which there are examples throughout Virginia during the colonial and early Republic era, are based in a European understanding of agrarian property and an anxiety over racial difference.

Copies of the dissertation are on reserve in the Johnson Center Library. The doctoral project will not be read at the meeting, but should be read in advance.

All members of the George Mason University community are invited to attend.