Margaret D. Jacobs

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Humanities and Arts

Professor Jacobs carries out comparative settler-Indigenous histories of the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand with a focus on women, gender, and family. She has published over 35 articles and 3 books, including White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940 (2009), which won the 2010 Bancroft Prize from Columbia University. This book concerns government policies that separated Indigenous children from their families and sent them to distant boarding schools and other institutions. Her more recent scholarship examines how government authorities in the U.S., Australia, and Canada continued to remove Indigenous children from their families after World War II through foster care and adoptive placements in non-Indigenous families. She also highlights how Indigenous women mobilized transnationally to reclaim the care of their children. She received an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2018 for her project, “Does the United States Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?,” which compares reconciliation efforts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  She is also the co-director of the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 2015-16 she served as the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University. She became Director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska in 2020.


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