Dr Emma Battell Lowman

Contact detailsEmma Battell Lowman

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3325
  • Email: el187@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Attenborough 804
  • Feedback and Support Times (Semester 2, 2020-21): By appointment only
  • Dissertation Hour (Semester 2, 2020-21): By appointment only

Personal details

I am a Settler Canadian originally from the territories of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, near what is currently called Niagara Falls, Canada. I relocated to the UK in 2009 to pursue a PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick (supervised by Professor Clare Anderson) on missionary histories of the South Central Interior of British Columbia, settler colonialism, and Indigenous research methodologies , completed in 2014. I also hold an MA in History of the University of Victoria, British Columbia (2007), and a Bachelor of Arts and Science Combined with French Literature and a Minor in Biology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (2004).

I have previously taught in the School of History at the University of Leicester (2011-2014), as well as holding a postdoctoral research fellowship with the School of Archaeology under Professor Sarah Tarlow (2015-2017). I was also previously a member of the project team for the Carceral Archipelago under Professor Anderson (2011-2015). Most recently, I have served as a Lecturer in the History of the Americas at the University of Hertfordshire (2016-2019), before returning to my home at the University of Leicester in September 2019.

I currently hold the position of Adjunct Research Professor with the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, and Research Fellow with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Teaching and Pedagogy

My teaching approach is informed by relational and compassionate practices. I teach and support co-learning with and among students, bring a wide variety of multimedia resources to the classroom, and support students through both personal and scholarly challenges. I hold students to a high standard, then ensure that they have as much support as possible to help them reach their goals. The impact of this approach has been demonstrated through two student - nominated teaching awards, both at the University of Hertfordshire (2018) and University of Leicester (2012).

My teaching focus is on the diverse histories of the Americas, especially Indigenous histories, narratives of contact and relationship building between Indigenous and newcomer peoples, and the establishment of multiple colonial formations leading to the transformation of the Americas over several centuries. My particular areas of expertise are: the interconnected Pacific, especially the Pacific Northwest coast, California, and Hawaii; the ‘Cariboo’ region of the Pacific Northwest interior, especially the territories of the Nlha7kápmx and Secwepemc nations; and the area I am from, around the Great Lakes and Niagara region, especially the Haldimand Tract and related territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. I use official histories of settlement, the memoirs and letters of missionaries, newspapers written in the Indigenous Chinuk pipa jargon, and historical monuments to colonial figures and conflicts to demonstrate the complexity of colonial settlement, the vibrancy of Indigenous resistance, and the wider global interconnections to the colonization of the Americas. I have supervised highly successful dissertations on subjects including American social and political histories, LGBTQ+ histories, social movements, and histories of colonialism.

Research and Publications

My research generally addresses the impact of imperial and colonial impositions from the late - 18th century through the 20th century. This spans three related areas of inquiry: analyses of narratives of colonization written by settlers, missionaries, and colonial agents; inquiry into the role of language and writing in supporting Indigenous resistance and adaptation to colonization; and engagement with the role of bodily restriction, restraint and punishment – of both Indigenous and non - Indigenous people – in forming imperial and settler colonial societies. This research is informed by Indigenous knowledge and research pedagogy, as articulated by scholars such as Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Shawn Wilson, and Margaret Kovach. I strive to understand history through relationship, place, story and language, as essential pillars of holistic and living knowledge production. I am keen to make connections with potential postgraduate students, researchers, and members of the public who share some of the interests mentioned above and can be reached at el187@leicester.ac.uk


Tarlow, S. & Battell Lowman, E. (2018). Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse . London: Springer.

Battell Lowman, E. & Barker, A.J. (2015). Settler: Colonialism and Identity in 21 st Century Canada. Halifax: Fernwood Press.

  • Nominated for Canadian Studies Network Book Prize (2016).

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Battell Lowman, E. (2017). “Mamook Kom’tax Chinuk Pipa/Learning to Write Chinook Jargon: Indigenous Peoples and Literacy Strategies in the South Central Interior of British Columbia in the Late Nineteenth Century.” Historical Studies in Education 29(1), pp.77 - 98.

Battell Lowman, E. (2011). “ ‘My Name Is Stanley’: Twentieth - Century Missionary Stories and the Complexity of Colonial Encounters .” BC Studies 169, pp.51 - 69.

Battell Lowman, E. & Mayblin, L. (2011). “ Introduction: Theorising the Postcolonial, Decolonising Theory .” Studies in Social and Political Thought , 19, pp.3 - 8.

Battell Lowman, E. (2007). “Insurgent Educators: Decolonization and the Teaching of Indigenous - Settler Relations.” Journal of the Indigenous Policy Network , 18(2), pp.1 - 16.

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