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Author's Forum Presents: The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
12:00 AM
Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 S. University Ave., Library Gallery, Room 100

A conversation with Tiya Miles and Kristin Hass.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, James Vann, a Cherokee chief and entrepreneur, established Diamond Hill in Georgia, the most famous plantation in the southeastern Cherokee Nation. In this first full-length study to reconstruct the history of the plantation, Tiya Miles tells the story of Diamond Hill's founding, its flourishing, its takeover by white land-lottery winners on the eve of the Cherokee Removal, its decay, and ultimately its renovation in the 1950s.

This moving multiracial history sheds light on the various cultural communities that interacted within the plantation boundaries--from elite Cherokee slaveholders to Cherokee subsistence farmers, from black slaves of various ethnic backgrounds to free blacks from the North and South, from German-speaking Moravian missionaries to white southern skilled laborers. Moreover, the book includes rich portraits of the women of these various communities. Vividly written and extensively researched, this history illuminates gender, class, and cross-racial relationships on the southern frontier.

Tiya Miles is associate professor of history, American culture, Afro-American studies, and Native American studies at the University of Michigan and was named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. Her first book, Ties That Bind: The Story of An Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom, won the Organization of American Historians' Turner Prize and the American Studies Association's Romero Prize.

Kristin Hass is associate professor of American culture at the University of Michigan and the author of Carried to the Wall: American Memory and The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (University of California Press, 1998).

Presented by the Author’s Forum, a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities,University Library, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Additional sponsorship for this event provided by the Departments of History, Comparative Literature, and Afroamerican and African Studies.