Lucas Kelley is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill. He received a BA in history from Centre College and an MA in history from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research focuses on the interaction between Native nations and US federal and state governments in the Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys. He is especially interested in the significance of territoriality—the political control, social organization, and cultural importance of territory—to changing notions of nationhood among Cherokees, Chickasaws, and white intruders. From 2017-2018, Lucas held a shared graduate research assistantship in community history and archiving with the UNC Southern Historical Collection and the Community Histories Workshop, and in 2018-2019, he was a Maynard Adams Fellow for the Public Humanities. He is the 2019 recipient of the Southern Historical Association’s William F. Holmes Prize for the best paper delivered at the annual meeting by a graduate student or junior faculty member.
Dissertation Title: “‘We Will Mark a Line for the White People’: Territoriality and Nation-Making in the Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys, 1770-1820”