With a population boom putting this "big city with a small-town feel" to new spatial tests, Nashville still earns its fame as Athens of the South and Music City USA. But it is also a borderland between multiple American Indian nations, the plantation home of Andrew Jackson, terminus of the ancient Natchez Trace, and way station on the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Today, Nashville is also headquarters of the United Southern and Eastern Tribes, Inc. This dynamic place in the Tennessee River Valley invites ethnohistorians to consider comparatively many questions about making and mapping human landscapes, colonizing and dispossessing Indigenous peoples, and losing and recovering native spaces.
Sometimes even designated "the vacant quarter" for late Mississippian and early colonial times, this region's history of competing and overlapping claims complicates concepts like homelands, buffer zones, and middle grounds. Nashville's pivotal position in the interstate slave trade and Indian removal also challenges us to reconsider issues of mobility and migration. The American Society for Ethnohistory's 2016 program committee encourages submission of proposals that will pursue analysis of dwelling, diaspora, and other experiences of space and place in a wide variety of ways—from inquiry into how native spaces are represented through narrative and performance, to study of different forms of colonial intrusion, to use of Geographic Information Systems for tracking patterns of interaction and movement.