Violence and Statehood

Sociology grad student studies the origins of ethnic violence during California’s early years

The National Science Foundation has awarded Peter Owens, sociology graduate student, a $10,545 Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant to explore collective ethnic violence against California’s indigenous population by early settlers from 1850 to 1865. 

Owens, who also received his M.A. in sociology from UCI in 2010, will utilize state and county census data, historical newspapers and various archival materials to compile a database explaining the social and institutional roots of violence against California’s indigenous population during the state’s first 15 years. 

The database will be made publicly accessible and contribute to historical literature on American colonial violence in California, as well as potential contemporary remedial efforts.

Funding for the project began in August 2014 and will run through July 2015.