Keely Smith

Graduate Student

Keely studies the relationship between the Muscogee language and sovereignty during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her dissertation, “Communicating Sovereignty: A History of the Muscogee Language and Communication Networks, 1715-1880,” uncovers the ways in which the Muscogee language determined the making and maintenance of Muscogee identity and sovereignty in the southeast and Indian Territory, from the reorientation of Native diplomacy during the Yamasee War in 1715 through the implementation of a written Muscogee language in the 1870s and 1880s. 

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. At Princeton, Keely is the organizer of the Indigenous Language Alliance at Princeton, community liaison for the Center for Digital Humanities' Lunaapahkiing Time Tree Project, and an administrative assistant for the Native American Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton (NAISIP).

Year of Study
Sixth Year
Area of Interest
Cultural History
Indigenous History
Intellectual History
Native American
Home Department & Other Affiliations
17th & 18th Centuries
19th Century
American South
American West