Elizabeth Fenn is the Walter and Lucienne Driskill Professor of Western American History at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–82 (2001) and, more recently, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People (2015), which won the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, the Colorado Book Award in History, the Albert J. Beveridge Award, the Caroline Bancroft History Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for History. Fenn is now at work on a biography of Sakagawea.
In this illustrated slide-lecture, Elizabeth Fenn uses the circumstances of Sacagawea’s capture to illuminate a deeper history of the northern plains and Rockies. Fenn discusses indigenous warfare, hunting techniques, environmental conditions, horse-borne interactions, and plains power dynamics as they pertained to a one-month period of Sacagawea’s life. This lecture makes the deep history of the West accessible to broad audiences.