Ann Little Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
History | March 01, 2014
Ann M. Little, Associate Professor of History, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship at the Huntington Library for 2014-15 in order to complete her book “The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright.” This study explores the life of Indian captive turned Ursuline choir nun Esther Wheelwright (1696-1780) through the communities of women–Anglo-American, African American, Wabanaki, and French-Canadian–who loved her, cared for her, and worked with her throughout her life. Dr. Little offers the following insights into her research: “Whereas we know a great deal about early American good wives, nasty wenches, and accused witches, Wheelwright’s life offers an opportunity to explore many different early American women’s experiences:she crossed between three cultures in childhood and adolescence, exchanging the Protestantism of her childhood for Catholicism among Wabanaki Indians, and ultimately assumed in old age the powerful position of Mother Superior of the Ursuline convent in Québec. Only by understanding someone like Wheelwright, who chose her own captivity, can we examine together the possibilities and limitations of gender in three early American cultures. My book shows why we need to know more about the choices of a woman like this one, a captive who never returned.”
Dr. Little has also been invited to CSU-Pueblo by the Alpha Kappa Branch of Phi Alpha Theta and the Past Masters History Club to deliver the second annual Bea Spade Memorial Lecture Series, March 19-20, 2014. She will be giving three talks at CSU-Pueblo. The first is a public evening lecture on the topic “The Secret History of Early America: Communities of Women in the Northeastern Borderlands.” The second, a late morning lecture geared primarily toward students, is entitled “‘Keep me with you, so that I might not be damned’: Captivity and Conversion in the Northeastern Borderlands.” Her third lecture, “An American in Quebec City: Or, why all historians should do research in more than one language,” will be delivered at the Department Banquet and Phi Alpha Theta initiation ceremony, and will include reflections on Dr. Little’s experiences as a historian.