John R. Legg

John R. Legg

John R. Legg

Graduate Research Assistant

U.S. History: Native American History, Digital and Public History, Spatial History, Refugee Studies

John R. Legg is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at George Mason University. He specializes in the history of the American West, Native American history, public history, and digital humanities. His dissertation uses ethnohistory to examine the spatial movement of Dakota people during the nineteenth century. Particularly he examines how Dakota used the U.S.-Canadian borderlands as a strategic tool for diplomacy, kinship, trade, warfare, and survival after Minnesota’s U.S.-Dakota War. Most recently, John was awarded the Phillips Fund for Native American Research from the American Philosophical Society and a Dissertation Research Scholarship from George Mason’s Office of the Provost.

John's currently at work on a collaborative public humanities project with George Mason's Center for Humanities Research, funded by Virginia Humanities (read more here), that explores Northern Virginia as a Indigenous space as well as the relationship between the American Indian Movement (AIM) and Central America during the twentieth century. He serves as Book Review Editor for H-CivWar. 

Selected Publications

"Searching for Indigeneity in The Oregon Trail," in Patrick A. Lewis and James "Trae" Welborn III, eds, Playing at War: Identity and Memory in American Civil War Video Games (LSU Press, forthcoming). 

"Indigenous and Settler Violence during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: A Microsyllabus," The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (online and print, forthcoming Summer 2021).

“The Sioux Wars (1853-1890),” in Political Violence in America: Historical Flashpoints and Modern-Day Trends, edited by Lori Cox Han and Tomislav Han, ABC-CLIO, manuscript submitted to press.

"White Lies, Native Revisions: The Legacy of Violence in the American West,” Great Plains Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Fall, 2019): 331-340.

Grants and Fellowships

American Philosophical Society, Phillips Fund for Native American Research, 2022

George Mason University Provost's Office, Doctoral Research Scholars Fellowship, Tier 3, 2022-2023

Newberry Library, Visiting Scholar, Chicago, Illinois, May-June, 2021.


Advanced to Candidacy (Summer 2020)

MA, Virginia Tech (May 2020)

BA, Middle Georgia State University (Dec. 2017)

Graduate Cert. in Public History, Virginia Tech (May 2020)

Recent Presentations

"Little Six and Medicine Bottle: How U.S. Political Violence Shaped the Long U.S.-Dakota War," Reeder Symposium, Youngstown State University, October 2022.

Roundtable, "Playing at War: Identity and Memory in American Civil War Era Video Games," Western History Association, San Antonio, October 2022.