Theodor de Bry, Plate XXII, ca. 1591
The next meeting of the History Journal Club will be held on Tuesday, November 17th at 2pm in DM370. For the November meeting, we will focus on understanding audience expectations for both primary and secondary sources. To help us springboard into that discussion, the November article is Daniel Vollaro, “Sixty Indians and Twenty Canoes: Briton Hammon’s Unreliable Witness to History.” Vollaro argued that historic and modern audience expectations for African-American writer Briton Hammon’s A Narrative of the Uncommon and Surprizing Deliverance impacted both Hammon’s portrayal of Florida Native Americans, and modern scholars’ interpretations about his descriptions of those Native Americans. Historians thus must consider carefully the expectations of past audiences, while also remembering that the expectations of their own audiences likely will impact their own interpretations.