Neal Hampton is a volunteer at the Indian Archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and has been a member since 2014.
Alma maters: BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1994; MA, University of Oklahoma, 1999; MA, University of Central Oklahoma, 2015
Fields of interest: Native American studies, politics, law, government, international relations, borderlands
Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today? I attended Phillips Academy at Andover from 1985 to 1989. I began my higher education at Oberlin College in 1989. I completed a degree in Native American studies from University of California, Berkeley, in 1994 where I received admission to Phi Beta Kappa. I returned to my home state from California to complete my MA in philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. In 2010, I became interested in Native American history and completed an MA in history at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2015. I have been a volunteer at the Indian Archives since graduation.
What do you like the most about where you live and work? Living in Oklahoma City provides excellent Native American historical and cultural resources as well as a chance to engage socially with my fellow Caddo tribal members and the Native American community throughout Oklahoma.
What projects are you currently working on? At this time, I am working on a history of the Lipan Apaches from 1853 up to the beginning of the US Civil War. I am also working on a history of political parties in the late 19th century among the Choctaws and Chickasaws and a tribal history of the Caddo Nation in the 20th century.
Have your interests evolved since graduation? If so, how? Upon graduation from the University of Central Oklahoma with a 4.0 GPA and a 200-page thesis entitled A Dark Cloud Rests Upon Your Nation: Lipan Apache Sovereignty and Relations with Mexico, the United States, and the Republic of Texas in hand in 2015, I have since decided to apply to the Yale University PhD program in history.
What’s the most fascinating thing you’ve ever found at the archives or while doing research? I found several letters by officials of the Roman Catholic Church in the Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola (Parras, Mexico). Records in the LLILAS Benson Latin American Collections at the University of Texas at Austin were relevant to my research in Lipan Apache history of the mid-19th century in the state of Coahuila, Mexico.
Is there an article, book, movie, blog etc. that you could recommend to fellow AHA members? I recommend reading Carlisle Indian Industrial School: Indigenous Histories, Memories, and Reclamations (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2016) edited by Jacqueline Fear-Segal and Susan D. Rose, particularly the article by Lipan Apache scholar Margo Tamez entitled “Necropolitics, Carlisle Indian School, and Ndé Memory.”
What do you value most about the history discipline? To my mind, the most significant values in history may be found in readings in the philosophy of history from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish to The Dialectic of Duration by Gaston Bachelard.
Why is membership in the AHA important to you? My AHA membership allows me to access the journal, online publications available only to members, and the chance to attend the AHA annual meetings.
AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.