Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar
Why We Left: A Literary Archaeology of American Colonization
Dr. Brooks will complete her fifth book and second monograph, Why We Left: A Literary Archeology of Anglo-American Colonization, a critical reexamination of the causes and cultures of American colonization. To reconstruct the world-views of poor Anglo-American colonists, she utilizes a potent ethnographic cache of memory: archives of folksongs that originated in seventeenth-century England, crossed the ocean, and have been sung continuously into the present. These ballads narrate the mass migration of poor English to America as a consequence of environmental destruction, economic disruption, and social betrayals in England. Why We Left builds out from these anthropological source texts and related historiography new narratives that challenge traditional American exceptionalist views of colonization and instead positions early colonists as members of communities fragmented by processes of economic mercantalization and globalization that continue to reshape the world today.
Affiliation at time of award:
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of English and Comparative Literature, San Diego State University
Sponsored by Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Foundation