An Anthropology of Genocide: The Fate of California’s Native Peoples

Before contact with outsiders (Spanish missionaries, Mexican settlers, and Forty-Niners from the U.S.), California’s Native Population numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  By the year 1873, this figure is estimated to have plunged to a low of 30,000. The indigenous tribes occupied every corner of the state – coastal seashores, river valleys, deserts, and mountains, speaking scores of languages.  Sixty major tribes were divided into many more linguistic and cultural subgroups, perhaps as many as 500. The course lectures will explore how this rich human landscape was first decimated by cultural assault, disease, enslavement, land theft and, finally, a government policy of extermination.

Following a twenty-three-year legal career, Professor De Nike received a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology in 1995 from the University of New Mexico, with a dissertation on the fate of the jurists of East Germany following German Unification. Since then, Dr. De Nike’s work has taken him to Cambodia, Ukraine, Armenia, West Bank/Gaza, Guyana, and Afghanistan. He has also taught at USF, San Francisco State University, and the University of New Mexico. His books and articles on law and anthropology cover such topics as the 1979 Trial of Pol Pot, a memoir on lawyering in military courts in Vietnam and West Germany, and indigenous land claims in Australia.

Meeting Time
Thursday AM 10:00-11:45
Meeting Rooms
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