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History of Indigenous Peoples Network (HIPN)

The HIP Network, has a mandate to encourage and support the research of the histories of Indigenous peoples, primarily among graduate students and faculty members at York University and neighbouring institutions. With a membership of close to 200 people, the Network holds bi-weekly workshops for members’ scholarship-in-progress, talks by visiting speakers, film viewings, an annual Elder Event, and a field trip series.

Directory of Research Cluster Members

NamePosition/TitleFaculty and/or DepartmentContact Information
Cothran, BoydAssistant ProfessorLiberal Arts & Professional Studies - Department of 
Koffman, DavidAssistant ProfessorLiberal Arts & Professional Studies - Department of
Podruchny, CarolynAssociate ProfessorLiberal Arts & Professional Studies - Department of

Research Profiles and Biographies

Boyd Cothran
Liberal Arts & Professional Studies - Department of History

PhD (University of Minnesota)

Boyd Cothran is an assistant professor of U.S. Indigenous and Cultural History in the Department of History. Boyd Cothran's current research investigates the intersection of cultural history and critical Indigenous studies with special focus on historical memory, historiography, and popular representations of American Indigenous peoples. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled "Marketplaces of Remembering: American Innocence and the Making of the Modoc War", which will focus on the historiography of the Modoc War (1872-1873), California’s so-called last Indian war, to explore the complex and often overlooked relationship between how Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals alike have remembered incidents of U.S.-Indian violence and the marketplaces – the systems, institutions, procedures, social relations, and arenas of trade – within which those remembrances have circulated. He argues that individuals have shaped their historical remembrances of the conflict, transforming an episode of Reconstruction Era violence and ethnic cleansing into a redemptive narrative of American innocence as they sought to negotiate these marketplaces. His aim in looking at these cultural and commercial associations is to delve into the question of how, since the nineteenth century, they have been directly related to the widespread belief that the Modoc War and other incidents of U.S.-Indian violence were ultimately justified and the tendency to view the westward expansion of the United States within the framework of inevitability.

Visit: Remembering the Modoc War: Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence

DavidK-34sm [11390150]

David Koffman
Liberal Arts & Professional Studies - Department of History

PhD (New York University)

David S. Koffman (PhD, NYU, 2011) is a cultural and social historian of Canadian and US Jewries. He holds the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry, and is an associate professor in the Department of History at York University, where he teaches courses on Canadian Jewish history, religion in American life, the meanings of money, genealogy as history, modern antisemitism, and religion & capitalism. His first monograph, The Jews’ Indian: Colonialism, Pluralism, and Belonging in America (Rutgers University Press, 2019), explores the American Jewish encounter with Native America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It argues that it was through these interactions that Jews created the ideological and cultural myths of their own belonging in the emerging American and Canadian West, as well as the foundation for their economic and social mobility there. New immigrant frontier Jews adapted cultural tropes about North American Indians and used them strategically to work though their questions and anxieties about themselves as “tribal” outsiders.  This research examines the frontier as a site of inter-ethnicity, and the place of religion, mobility, motility and class in the formation of racial governmentality.  It frames Jewish migration history within the context of the nineteenth century national colonial and imperial projects, rather than as tales of Jewish immigrant accomplishments – the dominant historiographic lens through which Western Jewish history is usually written. It twins immigration and aboriginality, national identity and cultural diversity, humanism and primitivism, religious minorities & expansion. He has also written on recent Canadian Jewish interest in Indigenous people and issues. He serves as the associate director of York’s Israel & Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, and as the editor-in-chief of the journal Canadian Jewish Studies / Études juives canadiennes.

Research Interests: Jewish - Indigenous Relations, Race, Hatred, Pluralism, 19th and 20th century Canadian and US history.

Carolyn 2015

Carolyn Podruchny
Liberal Arts & Professional Studies - Department of History


Carolyn Podruchny is an associate professor in the Department of History.

Research Interests: Aboriginal Peoples, History, Early Canadian history, Metis history, fur trade history.