My name is Jessica Yann. I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology. My focus is archaeology, specifically of the Midwestern region with an emphasis on the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I am currently working on finishing up my research and analysis for my dissertation.
My dissertation research focuses on how Native Americans and British traders were interacting throughout the Great Lakes region from 1760 to 1820, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘British period’ in the history of this region. Specifically, I am looking at the choices that various groups were making regarding what goods to get from traders as well as who groups were choosing to trade with. I am examining issues of supply and demand to test notions of dependency. Many early research on this time period and topic claim that Native Americans became completely dependent on Europeans. By looking more closely at supply and demand, I can examine these notions of dependency, and get a better idea of what was actually happening during these trade interactions. [Spoiler alert: I don’t think Native Americans were ever ‘dependent’ on Europeans, in the sense that they could not survive without them. I’m investigating this.]
All of that said, I am really excited to be working with CHI this semester. I’m not sure that my project will relate specifically to my research, but I really love the idea of making archaeology more approachable and accessible to the public, so my project will probably revolve around that. As my project develops, I will keep you all posted!