Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Eric Johnson

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative and the Cogut Institute for the Humanities.
Project "Mapping Munsee Landscapes: (Un)Recognizing Indigenous Stone Architecture in the Northeast"
Last updated June 29, 2022

Biography

Eric Johnson is Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Art and Architecture in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative and the Cogut Institute for the Humanities. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 2021. His research combines archaeological and historical methods to examine intersecting effects of colonialism and capitalism in North America, specifically northern New Jersey. His current book project, “An Archaeology of Settler Capitalism: Appropriating and Industrializing Wampum Manufacture in New Jersey (1770–1900),” exposes the entwined nature of capitalist and settler ideologies through the untold story of Euro-American settlers who produced Indigenous shell beads for export to the fur trade. As part of this work, he consulted with Michaeline Picaro (Turtle Clan Tribal Preservation Officer of the Ramapough Nation of New Jersey), leading to his current collaborative research project. The Ramapough have identified hundreds of potential stone landscape sites in ancestral Munsee territory that are not currently recognized by state agencies as Indigenous heritage. Combining landscape surveys, historical mapping, and Indigenous knowledge, the Mapping Munsee Landscapes project seeks to survey, contextualize, and ultimately preserve at-risk sites in Munsee territory while interrogating settler-state criteria for recognizing Indigenous architectural heritage.