Keely studies Indigenous communication networks in the North American southeast and Indian Territory during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her dissertation explores how Creek and Seminole communication (oral, written, performative, through material culture, etc.) determined the course of regional diplomacy and suited the needs of their anticolonial defiance. She is especially interested in how Creek and Seminole expressions of sovereignty evolved during this period. Keely is currently learning the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole language Mvskoke through the University of Oklahoma and plans to collaborate with individuals of descendant communities throughout the dissertation process.
Keely graduated summa cum laude from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2018 with a B.A. in history, Spanish, and global studies. She was a Gilder Lehrman History Scholar and received a Phi Kappa Phi graduate fellowship in the summer of 2018. While at Princeton, she has served as a coordinator for the Colonial and Revolutionary Americas Workshop and as the Graduate Administrative Fellow for the Center for Digital Humanities’ Indigenous Studies DH Working Group. She is also involved with the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton (NAISIP) Working Group.
Photo credit: Lisa Festa