Christopher L Green

 Christopher Green

Contact Information

309 Gregory Hall
810 S Wright
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801


Chris Green (Black/Lenni-Lenape) is an interdisciplinary scholar and writer born and raised in West Philadelphia. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in History with graduate minors in American Indian Studies and Queer Studies. Prior to moving to Illinois, Chris received his B.A. in Psychology and Gender and Sexuality Studies from Swarthmore College. 

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Chris wants to discover new ways of articulating and displaying history. He is particularly interested in findings points of connection between theatre, dance, sound design, and history in order to present historical evidence in more immersive ways for general audiences.   

Research Interests

  • 20th Century Urban Indigeneity
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Modern U.S. History
  • Queer Studies
  • Race and Ethnicity

Research Description

My dissertation investigates the ways indigeneity was debated, enacted, and acknowledged by urban Native and non-Native people in 20th century Philadelphia. Moving from Benjamin West’s 1772 painting, Penn’s Treaty with the Indians at Shackamaxon, I deploy a broad understanding of performance to include visual arts, dance, lectures, court trials, marches, etc., to interrogate how and why Philadelphia became a key site in the production of knowledge regarding what it meant be indigenous in the 20th century. I bring together anthropologists, religious groups, activists, and architects, and ask where was Philadelphia’s own Native population and how did its members create space for themselves in the city? In utilizing performance this dissertation focuses instead on the moments of possibility for Native life and the utopian potential within Philadelphia’s multi-tribal organization.

In excavating the myriad of performances that brought racial and white ethnic minorities and indigenous people together, I ask what models of Native identity developed in the Mid-Atlantic region and in what ways did they compete with or speak to other developing racial, ethnic, and national identities. Taking a counter-colonial approach of traditional archives alongside the incorporation of Indigenous archives and epistemologies, it is my hope that we may reclaim the histories of the settler city and reimagine the Mid-Atlantic region as a site of Native life, growth, and potential.


  • M.A. History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017
  • B.A. Gender and Sexuality Studies, Swarthmore College, 2014
  • B.A. Psychology, Swarthmore College, 2014

Distinctions / Awards

  • Andrew W. Mellon Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) Predoctoral Fellow, 2018-2019
  • University of Pennsylvania Visiting Scholar, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 2018-2019
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent and Outstanding based on ICES Scores, Fall 2017
  • University of Illinois Graduate College Fellow, 2015-2017


  • University of Illinois, History Department Summer Pre-Dissertation Research Travel Grant, 2017


  • HIST 100: Global History (TA)