Indigenous Studies: A Conversation with Robbie Richardson

Oct. 25, 2021

Robbie Richardson, a member of Pabineau First Nation (Mi’kmaw) in New Brunswick, Canada, and an assistant professor of English at Princeton University, specializes in 18th-century British and transatlantic literature and culture. His research into interactions between Indigenous and European cultures connects interests in Indigenous studies, art and material culture, the history of museums and collecting, and the literature of empire.

His book The Savage and Modern Self: North American Indians in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2018) examines representations of North American “Indians” in novels, poetry, captivity narratives, plays, and material culture from 18th-century Britain, and argues that depictions of “Indians” in British literature were used to critique and articulate evolving ideas about consumerism, colonialism, “Britishness,” and, ultimately, the “modern self” over the course of the century.

Richardson received his Ph.D. in English and cultural studies from McMaster University, followed by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellowship through the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture at Carleton University. He came to Princeton after seven years based in London, teaching at the University of Kent in Canterbury and Paris.

Over email, Richardson discussed his current project, his research and teaching in Europe and at Princeton. The conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Read the full interview with Sarah Malone here.