Doctoral candidate Will Fenton will serve as the creative director of a multi-year project “Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America,” supported by a $300,000 grant that was recently awarded to the Library Company of Philadelphia by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. This project builds on Fenton’s recent fellowship at the Library Company where he conducted research and designed the digital humanities project Digital Paxton, which increases accessibility to and awareness of the 1764 Paxton pamphlet war.
At the center of “Redrawing History” will be an educational graphic novel and public exhibition at the Library Company. Fenton has assembled an advisory board with leaders from the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Lenape Center, the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies to support a Native American writer (Lee Francis), artist (Weshoyot Alvitre), and publisher (Native Realities Press) as they reinterpret the Paxton massacre of 1763 from the perspective of the Conestoga. The published book will be freely distributed to the public and to all 567 federally-recognized tribes. Graphic art will be made publicly accessible via Digital Paxton and the Digital Public Library of America.
Alongside the publication of the graphic novel, the project will feature a national educators’ summer institute co-sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a tour and site visit at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian, and a public exhibition and symposium at the Library Company of Philadelphia. All new curricular and archival resources will be made publicly accessible through Digital Paxton.
To learn more about the project, see The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s press release.