I teach primarily Indigenous and settler colonial histories. I teach courses ranging from Global Indigenous History to Histories of Place, from the year-long North American Indigenous Survey to First Contacts in the Pacific, and am affiliated with UBC’s Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. I also recently taught for the first time a seminar on the history of death, a new subject for me.
My first book was Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place (Washington, 2007 and second edition 2017), which linked urban and Indigenous histories through the experiences of the local Duwamish people, Indigenous migrants to the city, and the uses of “Indian” imagery in urban landscapes and historical narratives. It argued that instead of being mutually exclusive, urban and Indigenous histories are in fact mutually constitutive. Native Seattle won the 2007 Washington State Book Award, and an article based on one of the chapters, “City of the Changers,” was named best article of 2006 by the Urban History Association.
My latest book is Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire (Yale, 2016), which reframes the metropolis and its history through the experiences of Indigenous people who travelled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, beginning in 1502. To support this work, during 2013-2014 sabbatical year I was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London and an Eccles Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library.
In between Native Seattle and Indigenous London, I have published on topics ranging from food and encounter to earthquakes and colonial science. I also co-edited the volume Phantom Pasts, Indigenous Presence: Native Ghosts in North American Culture & History (Nebraska, 2011).
I am currently working on two book projects, both of which involve me returning to the Northwest Coast. The first, entitled SlaughterTown, is an archivally-grounded cross-genre work looking at historical trauma and memory in my hometown of Auburn, Washington, formerly known as Slaughter. It is set primarily in the 1980s, during the US’s largest serial murder case, the Green River Killer, but reaches back into the town’s history to think about the logics of settler colonialism. The second project, in its very initial phases, is entitled Wrecked: Ecologies of Failure in the Graveyard of the Pacific. It will be a critical cultural and environmental history of shipwrecks on the Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia coasts, focused on how stories of these failed maritime voyages – nearly 3,000 of them! – open up opportunities to think about settler colonialism, Indigenous survivance, and regional history in new ways.
I welcome inquiries.
- Indigenous and settler colonial histories
- the Northwest Coast and the Pacific
- place-based histories
- colonial and Atlantic history
- environmental history
- thanatology (death studies)
C. Thrush. Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire. : Yale University Press, 2016.
C.E. Boyd; C. Thrush. Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence: Native Ghosts in North American Culture and History. : UNP – Nebraska Paperback, 2011.
C. Thrush. Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2007.
C. Thrush, “Meere Strangers: Indigenous and Urban Performances in Algonquian London, 1580-1630”, in Urban Identity and the Atlantic World, E. Fay and von Morze, L. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
C. Thrush, “Urban Indigenous Histories”, in Oxford Handbook of American Indian History, F. E. Hoxie Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
C. Thrush, “How Many Worlds? Unsettling Places and Incommensurable Arguments”, in Beyond Two Worlds, J. C. Genetin-Pilawa and Buss, J. J. Albany: SUNY Press, 2013.
C. Thrush, “The Iceberg and the Cathedral: Encounter, Entanglement, and Isuma in Inuit London”, Journal of British Studies, 2013.
C. Thrush, “The Sachem of Southwark: Monument and Memory in Indigenous-Settler Histories”, special issue of Ethnohistory featuring Jean M. O’Brien and Lisa Blee, Chris Andersen, Alice Te Punga Somerville, and Patrick McNamara, 2013.
C. Thrush, “Vancouver the Cannibal: Cuisine, Encounter, and the Dilemma of Difference on the Northwest Coast, 1774-1808.”, Ethnohistory, vol. 58, pp. 1 – 35, 2011
C. Thrush and Ludwin, R. S., “Finding Fault: Indigenous Seismology, Colonial Science, and the Rediscovery of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Cascadia”, American Indian Culture & Research Journal, vol. 31, no. 4 (Fall-Winter 2007), pp. 1-24, 2007
C. Thrush, “City of the Changers: Indigenous People and the Transformation of Seattle’s Watersheds”, Pacific Historical Review, vol. 75, no. 1 (February 2006), pp. 89-117, 2006.