Decentering 1620

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This article problematizes the commemoration of the quadricentennial of the landing of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 by focusing on the important interventions of Indigenous public historians and intellectuals. Their work on the digital and physical exhibit “Our” Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History upends the national origin story anchored in the Plymouth commemorative landscape that erases Indigenous perspective and sanitizes a deeply conflictual history. The collective impact of their work challenges the timeline on which the quadricentennial is premised, insists on a reckoning with a longer and more violent history of settler colonialism, and emphasizes Wampanoag resilience and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalEarly American Literature
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved.


  • Anniversary
  • Commemoration
  • Day of Mourning
  • Indigenous intellectuals
  • Massachusetts
  • Massasoit
  • Memorial/monument
  • Pilgrims
  • Plymouth
  • Plymouth 2020
  • Public history
  • Settler memory
  • Thanksgiving
  • United American Indians of New England
  • Wampanoag


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