Elizabeth Ellis is an associate professor of history at Princeton University. She specializes in early American and Native American history, and her research focuses on the seventeenth and eighteenth-century south. Prior to joining Princeton, Liz was an assistant professor of history and the director of the Native Studies Forum at New York University.
Her first book, The Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South, (October 2022) examines the formation of Native American nations in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The Great Power of Small Nations argues that Indigenous migration and immigration practices helped create powerful and resilient Native nations, and that these Native southerners shaped and limited the extent of European colonization during the eighteenth century. Her research interests include Indigenous migration, borderlands, early Native American writing, Indigenous slavery, and twentieth-century Native American politics. In addition to her work on early America, Liz writes about contemporary Indigenous issues and political movements and is committed to organizing and fighting for Indigenous self-determination. She is Peewaalia and is an enrolled citizen of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.
Liz received her B.A. from Tulane University and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Institute for Citizens and Scholars, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Huntington Library, the Newberry Library, and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. Her ongoing collaborative work includes, the Reclaiming Stories Project, the “Unsettled Refuge” working group on Indigenous histories of North American Sanctuary, and the “Indigenous Borderlands of North America” research project. She is also the primary investigator for the 2023-2024 Mellon Sawyer Seminar “Indigenous Futures in Times of Crisis” at New York University and Princeton University.
Photo credit: Zoë McWhirter