Dean Bruno is a Ph.D. candidate in United States history with a focus on borderlands, environmental, military, and American Indian history. Under the direction of Dan Usner, his dissertation investigates the cycles of violence and dispossession for the lands of the former Seneca Army Depot in upstate New York from the Revolutionary War through the Cold War. What stories do we tell about this transformed and militarized region and what narratives remain muted? How do we negotiate the competing claims to this physical place and cultural space? How do we evaluate the contested layers of memory and meaning?
Dean participated in the Newberry Library Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS) graduate student workshop - “Cartography and Spatial Analysis in American Indian Studies.” He also represented Vanderbilt at the NCAIS 2012 Summer Institute - “Territory, Commemoration, and Monument: Indigenous and Settler Histories of Place and Power.” To assist in dissertation research, Dean received a Herbert and Blanche Henry Weaver Summer Research Award, and support from the William Campbell Binkley Graduate Education Research Fund.
Dean presented his work at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic annual conferences in 2013 and 2014. He also served as the keynote speaker for the dedication of a historic marker at Sampson State Park in Seneca County, New York to recognize the families dispossessed by the federal government during the summer of 1941 to make way for the construction of the Seneca Army Depot. In spring 2015, he will participate in The McNeil Center for Early American Studies, Works-in-Progress Series.