What is the bibliography of racist ideas in the United States? How can a book-historical approach to the history of race in America help us to navigate the fraught landscape of race in the early 21st century? In 2013, Amherst College acquired a collection of 1,400 books by Native American authors that has expanded to over 2,500 items, nearly 200 of which were published before 1900. In this talk, Mike Kelly will explore ways that placing this collection in conversation with nineteenth-century publications about race and science can help us explore the bibliography of race in America.
Mike Kelly is the Head of the Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College, where he oversees the school’s collection of more than 80,000 rare books along with a host of archival and manuscript collections. Before coming to Amherst in 2009, he spent eleven years as the Curator of Books at the Fales Library & Special Collections at New York University. He received his MLS from the University of Texas at Austin where he spent two years as an intern at the Harry Ransom Center; he also holds an MA in English from the University of Virginia. In 2016, he was awarded the Reese Fellowship for American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas by the Bibliographical Society of America for his work on the bibliography of Samson Occom (Mohegan).