Bancroft Prize-Winning Alum Joins Human Rights Lecture Series

Books Connect Wrongs of Past with Possible Pathways to Justice

portrait photo of historian and UC Davis alumna

Margaret Jacobs

April 2017 — Margaret Jacobs, an award-winning historian at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a UC Davis alumna, returns to campus Thursday, April 20, to give a talk about her research on the forced removal of indigenous children in North America and Australia.

Her talk, “Indigenous Children’s Rights and Settler Colonial Wrongs,” begins at 7 p.m. in the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art as part of the UC Davis Human Rights Studies lecture series.

According to Keith David Watenpaugh, professor and chair of Human Rights Studies at UC Davis, “Margaret Jacobs is a truly exceptional scholar whose work connects the violations of human rights and crimes against humanity in the past with possible pathways to justice and reconciliation in the present.”

Jacobs, who earned two graduate degrees in history at UC Davis (M.A. ’92, Ph.D. ’96), is the author of several articles and three books about women, gender, children and family in the American West and other colonial settings.

book cover with archival photo of girls with long braids playing with dolls

She won a Bancroft Prize, one of the top prizes for history, for her book, White Mother to a Dark Race, about the forced removal of indigenous children from their families and their assimilation into American and Australian culture from 1880 to 1940.

Her latest book, A Generation Removed: The Fostering and Adoption of Indigenous Children in the Postwar World, takes up the story after World War II and focuses on Canada as well.

Her first book, Engendered Encounters: Feminism and Pueblo Cultures, 1879‑1934, explores the changing relationship between Anglo-American and Pueblo Indian women.

At the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Jacobs is a chancellor's professor of history and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program. In 2015-16 she served as the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University.

All talks in the Human Rights Studies 2017 Lecture Series are free. Parking costs $9. The Manetti Shrem Museum is located at Old Davis Road and Mrak Hall Drive near Interstate 80.

This year’s series will conclude May 4 with a talk, "Killing Doctors in the War on Syria" by Susannah Sirkin, director of international policy and partnerships at Physicians for Human Rights. 


Reported by Kathleen Holder, who writes about the social sciences for the UC Davis College of Letters and Science.