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Tess Evans

Graduate Student


I received my BA from Lynchburg College where I majored in history and minored in French, and I went on to receive my master’s in history from James Madison University. My dissertation is a cultural landscape study of the Arkansas territory (the Arkansas Post, in particular) and how various groups of people appropriated and perceived the physical world around them. This region offers a glimpse into a tripartite society, in which Native Americans, Europeans, and people of African descent contested and endeavored to carve out spaces for themselves, both real and metaphorical, on the same shared physical spaces. French, Spanish, and eventually Anglo-Americans worked to articulate political power through manipulation of the landscape. These articulations of power never went unchecked by other members of society, however, including Native Americans and people of African descent. This dissertation looks for instances in the historical record in which marginalized people challenged, shaped, and cultivated a unique geographic literacy to change the political landscape and make their own rival cultural landscape or landscapes. Untangling social and cultural interactions among these diverse residents in this particular space—frontier, colonial settlement, and native ground—is a study that seeks to bridge Atlantic, Southern, and Native American history.


Research Interests

Cultural landscapes, African American history, Native American history, Gulf South, Atlantic world


Ph.D Candidate History, University of Tennessee, 2015

M.A. History: James Madison University, 2014

B.A. History:  Lynchburg College, 2012

Courses Taught

At the University of Tennessee I’ve served as a TA for many courses, including World History to 1400, World History Since 1400, United States History since 1877, and the History of the Irish World.

Contact Information