Discovery of California Professor's Shared Ancestry with Obama Leads to Research Breakthrough Pt Two

Caiifornia professor's shared ancestry with Obama has lead to a breakthrough in mixed ancestry and Melungeon studies. Hicks discusses the two theoretical models that she put forward in her book Border Writing.
 
 
Sept. 24, 2011 - PRLog -- Hicks' book, Border Writing, the Multidimensional Text, was published in a groundbreaking series by the University of Minnesota Press, the Theory and History of Literature series.  Others published in the series include Fredric Jameson.  The series made the works of leading scholars available in English, including Theodor Adorno, Jean-François Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Maurice Blanchot, Hélène Cixous, Giorgio Agamben, Paul de Man, Tzvetan Todorov, Jean-Luc Nancy and Georges Bataille.  In 2009, Hicks was asked to contribute a chapter to a book with a preface written by Sir Anthony Giddens.  Her topic was the Black Panther Party Breakfast Program of the 1960s.  In this article, she updated her earlier model, the border machine.  
   Hicks has continued to work on the two theoretical models she put forward in Border Writing, the border machine and the holographic border model, with a researcher at IGPP, Scripps, UC San Diego.  She and Cal Tech-trained geomorphologist B.T. Werner are using complexity science to look at the U.S.-Mexico border.  They are focussed both on border theories and on the challenges of agent-based modelling in relation to the U.S.-Mexico border.  They have presented their research to the public in several venues, including the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center.  The Hicks-Werner ongoing research led to Hicks ' collaboration with a Scripps graduate student, Ariana Merlino;  Hicks showed her Melungeon-related art work at an exhibition curated by Merlino at the Martin Johnson House at Scripps in 2011.  Hicks used the concept of the estuary, a mixture of salt and fresh water, as a way to look at ethnically mixed populations in relation to geography.  
   The most famous book about Melungeons was written by N. Brent Kennedy.  It is entitled The Melungeons, The Resurrection of a Proud People.  Melungeon Studies is an emerging field of Melungeon Studies that includes the analyses of Melungeon characters in literature as well as works by Melungeon authors.  Katherine Vande Brake, dean, School of Arts & Sciences, King College, Tennesse, is a leading scholar in this area.  Hicks has also looked closely at the research of Elizabeth Hirschman and Donald Yates.  Hicks has spent over a decade studying Melungeon populations.  The surnames Bunch and Collins are found in many families that define themselves as Melungeon.  President Obama is a descendant of Mary Collins, of Orange County, Virginia, and other Melungeons.  Hicks claims Melungeon ancestry through her maternal grandmother.  There is a link between Professor Hicks's and President Obama's ancestors:  an Obama ancestor was a witness for a will of an ancestor of Professor Hicks's.  Obama is a descendant of Edwin Conway, Sr.  and Martha Eltonhead.  Their grandson, Col. Edwin Conway, was a witness for the will of Richard Doggett.  Col. Edwin Conway was a coroner.  Richard Doggett (1692-1721) was married to Elizabeth Bushrod.  Hicks is a descendant of Richard Doggett and Elizabeth Bushrod.
   Obama is a descendant of Mary Collins (1776-1820), of Orange County, Virginia as well as of Nathaniel Bunch (1793-   ), of Louisa County, Virginia and of John Bunch (1665-  ), of New Kent, Virginia.  In 1755, Melungeon families were taxed in Orange County, Virginia.  In the generation of Obama's gggggg grandparents, including Mary Collins, we find the following surnames, all of which have been associated with Melungeons:  Bunch, Martin, Perry, Perkins, Tarleton.  A Y-DNA test subject descended from Nathaniel Bunch, founder of the Arkansas branch of Bunches and Obama's ancestor, was found to carry the E1b1a haplogroup.  Recent research suggests its origin in East Africa;  however, its highest distribution is in western sub-Saharan Africa.  The slave trade brought this haplogroup to colonial America.
   Recently, Hicks discovered the work Anita Wills, author of two books related to Free Persons of Color and in the process of completing a third, on the Minqua and the Welsh Mountains in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Combining her findings with those of Wills, Hicks was quickly able to identify relationships between several generations of servants related to the Monroe and Washington families and her own ancestors, including Sarah Ann Doggett (1745-   ).  Hicks hopes to find evidence of intermarriage between Native Americans who were part of the Powhatan Empire, including Wicocomico King Taptico, and Mary Chilton Monroe, the daughter of the white indentured servant Lydia Hilliard and an unknown African American father.

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The Border Institute for Advanced Studies is a research institute focussed on the following: borders, including geopolitical and cultural borders; minority and mixed ancestry populations, ethnic studies, Deleuze and complexity science;
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Tags:Emily Hicks, University of Minnesota Press, Obama, Melungeon, US Mexico border, Native Americans, Fpc, Washington
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Page Updated Last on: Sep 26, 2011
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