Dr Blanca Tovias de Plaisted

BA (Hons) PhD UNSW
ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2469
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

Website Phonebook Entry

Biographical details

Blanca Tovías has published widely on the history and literature of First Nations peoples of the Great Plains of the United States and Canada, and on the historiography and native peoples of colonial Latin America. She has written on indigenous responses to colonialism from the fur trade era to the early twentieth century in her book Colonialism on the Prairies: Blackfoot Settlement and Cultural Transformation, 1870–1920. She has co-edited and collaborated in three anthologies on Mesoamerica and the Andes. Her current Australian Research Council project, Entangled Colonialisms: First Nations Women of the American–Canadian Borderlands, 1880–1940, is a study of how First Nations women renegotiated their gendered roles during the first six decades of settlement on reserves and reservations in Montana (United States) and Alberta (Canada). Her prizes include the 2007 Doctoral Thesis Prize, and the Ian J. Bickerton Postgraduate History Prize, University of New South Wales, and as contributing author in the prize-winning D. Moses (ed.), Empire, Colony, Genocide (2008). She is currently also completing a book on the Spanish Crown, Pacific Rivalries, and Latin American Independence (1770 to 1830).

Research interests

  • History of First Nations Women (United States and Canada)
  • History and Literature of the First Nations of the Great Plains (United States and Canada)
  • Imperialism and Colonialism throughout the Americas
  • The History of Exploration and Colonization of the Pacific, 19th Century
  • The History and Literature of Revitalization Movements in the Americas
  • Fiestas, Dances and Ceremonies in the Mexico–United States Borderlands

Teaching and supervision

  • Colonizing of the Americas
  • United States History after the Civil War
  • The Politics and Semiotics of Dress in History
  • English Literature
  • Spanish Language
  • Latin American Literature

Current projects

  1. Australian Research Council funded project: Entangled Colonialisms: First Nations Women of the American-Canadian Borderlands, 1880-1940. I study how women renegotiated their gendered roles during the first six decades of settlement on reserves and reservations in Montana (United States) and Alberta (Canada). I am especially interested in their income-producing activities, their wealth in material terms, and their prestige and authority derived from ceremonial functions.
  2. Fiestas, Dances and Ceremonies on the Mexico-United States Borderlands. I study the deep historical connections of contemporary fiestas, dances and ceremonies in the State of Nuevo León, Mexico, in the light of indigenous dances and rituals first described during the sixteenth century by Spanish explorers and missionaries. The project is in its early stages, but will consist of three separate case studies, each illustrative of the influences of Indigenous Mexico on contemporary cultural expressions.

Current writing

  1. Antorcha Peruana: Historia y Poesía de la Independencia en el Sur Andino, an annotated edition of an 1819 history written in epic verse; Ms. in Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid. Paleographic transcription, author biography, historical background, literary analysis - In preparation (est. 40,000 words). I have presented preliminary findings at several international conferences, including the 2012 International Congress of Americanists in Vienna, and expect to complete writing in 2013.
  2. 'The Harvest of Colonialism: The Condition of Native Andeans in the Puno Region at Independence', in Tom Knight, Lisa Solling, Damian Tybussek, Christine Gant-Thompson, eds., Yachay Wasi: a collection of papers in honour of Ian S. Farrington.
  3. 'The Vicissitudes of First Nations Women's Work in the Early Reserve Era.' Journal article. I analyse women's work in the transition to settlement as part of a larger project concerned with the history of First Nations women in Montana and Alberta 1880-1940.
  4. 'Gendered Designs: Twentieth Century Patterns of Clothing and Patterns of Living on the Plains.' Journal article. I explore the role of craft production in First Nations intertribal and intercultural relationships (United States, Canada, and Australia).

Awards and honours

  • 1998 The Aisling Society Prize in English
  • 2007 The Doctoral Thesis Prize, University of New South Wales
  • 2007 and the Ian J Bickerton Postgraduate History Prize
  • 2008 H-Soz-u-Kult Prize: as contributor to Dirk Moses (ed.), Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest and Subaltern Resistance in World History (New York: Berghahn Books), awarded best book prize for 2008

Selected grants

2012

  • Entangled Colonialisms: First Nations Women of the American-Canadian Borderlands, 1880-1940; Tovías B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).

2009

  • Native Women and Frontier Colonialisms: First nations of the Northern Plains of North America, 1730-1930; Tovías B; University of Sydney/Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Tovías, B. (2011). Colonialism on the Prairies: Blackfoot Settlement and Cultural Transformation, 1870-1920. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic Press.

Edited Books

  • Fisher, J., Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2008). De la Etnohistoria a la Historia en Los Andes. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2006). New World, First Nations: Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule. Brighton: Sussex: Academic Press.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2003). Elites Indigenas En Los Andes : Nobles, Caciques Y Cabildantes Bajo El Yugo Colonial. Ediciones Abya-Yala.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2003). Elites Indigenas En Los Andes : Nobles, Caciques Y Cabildantes Bajo El Yugo Colonial. Ediciones Abya-Yala.

Book Chapters

  • Tovías, B. (2014). Native Women of the Americas in Power (c. 1530-1880). In Robert Aldrich, Kirsten McKenzie (Eds.), The Routledge History of Western Empires, (pp. 180-193). London: Routledge.
  • Tovías, B. (2012). A Blueprint for Massacre: The United States Army and the 1870 Blackfeet Massacre. In Philip G. Dwyer and Lyndall Ryan (Eds.), Theatres of Violence: Massacre, Mass Killing and Atrocity throughout History, (pp. 126-140). New York, US: Berghahn Books.
  • Tovías, B. (2008). Navigating the Cultural Encounter: Blackfoot Religious Resistance in Canada (c.1870–1930). In Dirk Moses (Eds.), Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, (pp. 271-295). New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Tovías, B. (2007). Power Dressing on the Prairies: The Grammar of Blackfoot Leadership Dress. In Mina Roces & Louise Edwards (Eds.), The Politics of Dress in Asia and the Americas, (pp. 139-162). UK: Sussex: Academic Press.
  • Tovías, B. (2006). Colonialism and Demographic Catastrophes in the Americas: Blackfoot Tribes of the Northwest. In Patricia Grimshaw & Russell McGregor (Eds.), Collision of Cultures and Identities: Settlers and Indigenous Peoples, (pp. 72-78). Melbourne: RMIT Press.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2006). Introduction: First Nations Between Conquest and Independence. In David Cahill & Blanca Tovias (Eds.), New World, First Nations: Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule, (pp. 1-9). Brighton: Sussex: Academic Press.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2003). Introducción: Las élites nativas andinas durante la época colonial. In David Cahill & Blanca Tovias (Eds.), Elites Indigenas En Los Andes : Nobles, Caciques Y Cabildantes Bajo El Yugo Colonial, (pp. 7-15). Ediciones Abya-Yala.

Journals

  • Tovías, B. (2014). The Right to Possess Memory: Winter Counts of the Blackfoot, 1830-1937. Ethnohistory, 61(1), 99-122. [More Information]
  • Tovías, B. (2013). Diplomacy and Contestation before and after the 1870 Massacre of Amskapi Pikuni. Ethnohistory, 60(2), 269-293. [More Information]
  • Tovías, B. (2009). A Hero For all Seasons: A Late Nineteenth-Century Scarface in James Welch's "Fools Crow". Australasian Canadian Studies: a multidisciplinary journal for the humanities and social sciences, 27(1-2), 129-147.
  • Tovías, B. (2005). Infected by the hybrid? framing Blackfoot stories across genres. New Literature Review, 43 (April 2005), 83-97.

Reference Works

  • Tovías, B. (2008). Canada (1867). Historical Atlas: A Comprehensive History of the World. Sydney.
  • Tovías, B. (2006). Fur and Skin Trades in the Americas. In Thomas Benjamin (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450, Volume 2. (pp. 508-510). USA: Macmillan Reference USA.

2014

  • Tovías, B. (2014). Native Women of the Americas in Power (c. 1530-1880). In Robert Aldrich, Kirsten McKenzie (Eds.), The Routledge History of Western Empires, (pp. 180-193). London: Routledge.
  • Tovías, B. (2014). The Right to Possess Memory: Winter Counts of the Blackfoot, 1830-1937. Ethnohistory, 61(1), 99-122. [More Information]

2013

  • Tovías, B. (2013). Diplomacy and Contestation before and after the 1870 Massacre of Amskapi Pikuni. Ethnohistory, 60(2), 269-293. [More Information]

2012

  • Tovías, B. (2012). A Blueprint for Massacre: The United States Army and the 1870 Blackfeet Massacre. In Philip G. Dwyer and Lyndall Ryan (Eds.), Theatres of Violence: Massacre, Mass Killing and Atrocity throughout History, (pp. 126-140). New York, US: Berghahn Books.

2011

  • Tovías, B. (2011). Colonialism on the Prairies: Blackfoot Settlement and Cultural Transformation, 1870-1920. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic Press.

2009

  • Tovías, B. (2009). A Hero For all Seasons: A Late Nineteenth-Century Scarface in James Welch's "Fools Crow". Australasian Canadian Studies: a multidisciplinary journal for the humanities and social sciences, 27(1-2), 129-147.

2008

  • Tovías, B. (2008). Canada (1867). Historical Atlas: A Comprehensive History of the World. Sydney.
  • Fisher, J., Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2008). De la Etnohistoria a la Historia en Los Andes. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala.
  • Tovías, B. (2008). Navigating the Cultural Encounter: Blackfoot Religious Resistance in Canada (c.1870–1930). In Dirk Moses (Eds.), Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, (pp. 271-295). New York: Berghahn Books.

2007

  • Tovías, B. (2007). Power Dressing on the Prairies: The Grammar of Blackfoot Leadership Dress. In Mina Roces & Louise Edwards (Eds.), The Politics of Dress in Asia and the Americas, (pp. 139-162). UK: Sussex: Academic Press.

2006

  • Tovías, B. (2006). Colonialism and Demographic Catastrophes in the Americas: Blackfoot Tribes of the Northwest. In Patricia Grimshaw & Russell McGregor (Eds.), Collision of Cultures and Identities: Settlers and Indigenous Peoples, (pp. 72-78). Melbourne: RMIT Press.
  • Tovías, B. (2006). Fur and Skin Trades in the Americas. In Thomas Benjamin (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450, Volume 2. (pp. 508-510). USA: Macmillan Reference USA.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2006). Introduction: First Nations Between Conquest and Independence. In David Cahill & Blanca Tovias (Eds.), New World, First Nations: Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule, (pp. 1-9). Brighton: Sussex: Academic Press.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2006). New World, First Nations: Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule. Brighton: Sussex: Academic Press.

2005

  • Tovías, B. (2005). Infected by the hybrid? framing Blackfoot stories across genres. New Literature Review, 43 (April 2005), 83-97.

2003

  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2003). Elites Indigenas En Los Andes : Nobles, Caciques Y Cabildantes Bajo El Yugo Colonial. Ediciones Abya-Yala.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2003). Elites Indigenas En Los Andes : Nobles, Caciques Y Cabildantes Bajo El Yugo Colonial. Ediciones Abya-Yala.
  • Cahill, D., Tovías, B. (2003). Introducción: Las élites nativas andinas durante la época colonial. In David Cahill & Blanca Tovias (Eds.), Elites Indigenas En Los Andes : Nobles, Caciques Y Cabildantes Bajo El Yugo Colonial, (pp. 7-15). Ediciones Abya-Yala.

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