Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Alexandra Peck

Anthropology and Archaeology


My research examines the ways in which settler colonialism and ensuing Native displacement and public amnesia in the Pacific Northwest contribute to troubling narratives of Indigenous erasure and extinction in "wilderness" preservation areas. My work analyzes how romanticized tropes of wilderness and environmentalism often neglect contemporary and historic Native presence, as well as how modern tribal nations are reclaiming and reterritorializing their ancestral homelands, many of which exist within spaces associated with ideas of pristine natural beauty, fantasy, or lack of human inhabitation. As an anthropologist, I employ a multimodal and interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes environmental studies, oral history, ethnography, archaeology/material culture, critical Indigenous theory, public humanities, and art history.