3145 Faculty/Administration Building
Karen Marrero teaches courses in early North American and Native American history. Her current book project explores the mechanisms by which seventeenth and eighteenth-century Indigenous and French kin networks exploited Detroit’s status as a “transitional location” and diplomatic center to divert and revalue resources and amass political, economic, and cultural prestige. These families understood what European imperial agents failed to comprehend, namely, that Detroit, as part of Iroquoian and Algonquian hunting territories occupied an essential location and performed an explicit function in indigenous concepts of domesticity. Marrero also studies the northern border in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as a site of contestation between Indigenous, French- and British-Canadian, and American peoples.
Research Interest/Area of Expertise
Colonial North America
Native America and Indigenous Peoples
Early Modern Atlantic world
transnational and borderlands history
women and gender
memory, narrative, and the nature of historical truth and authenticity
Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications
- Ph.D., History, Yale University, 2011
- M.Phil., History, Yale University, 2004
- M.A., History, Yale University, 2003
- M.A., History (with Archival Studies concentration), University of Windsor, 2000
- M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Windsor, 1994
- B.A., English Language and Literature, University of Windsor, 1988
Awards and Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar fellowship for “Bridging National Borders in North America,” Newberry Library, June 2 – June 27, 2014
Earhart Foundation on American History Post-Doctoral Fellowship, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, 2012
"'Borders Thick and Foggy': Mobility, Community, and Nation in a Northern Indigenous Region." In Warring for America: Cultural Contests in the Era of 1812. Eds. Nicole Eustace and Fredrika J. Teute. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017). 419-444.
“Women at the Crossroads: Trade, Mobility, and Power in Early French America and Detroit.” In Women in Early America: Transnational Histories, Rethinking Master Narratives. Ed. Thomas Foster. (New York: New York University Press, 2015). 159-185.
“On the Edge of the West: The Roots and Routes of Detroit’s Urban Eighteenth Century.” In Frontier Cities: Encounters at the Crossroads of Empire. Eds. Jay Gitlin, Barbara Berglund, and Adam Arenson. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). 66-87.
On leave Fall 2017
HIS 2040, United States to 1877 (3 cr.)
HIS 3998/6010, Topics in American History: Borderlands: Understanding the Detroit River Border Region (3 cr.)
HIS 3998/6010, Topics in American History: Native American History (3 cr.)
HIS 8010, Seminar in Early American History (3 cr.)