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Ph.D., History, Yale University, 2009

Office: 5371 Bunche Hall
Phone: 310-825-4601
Fax: 310-206-9630
E-mail: madley@ucla.edu

Mailing Address:

UCLA Department of History
6265 Bunche Hall
Box 951473
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473

Class Websites


Native American, American West, United States, and Genocide in World History

Research Interests

Ben Madley is an historian of Native America, the United States, and genocide in world history. Born in Redding, California, Ben spent much of his childhood in Karuk Country near the Oregon border where he became interested in the relationship between colonizers and indigenous peoples. He writes about American Indians as well as colonial genocides in Africa, Australia, and Europe, often applying a transnational and comparative approach.

His first book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 , will be published by Yale University Press in 2016.

Ben's current research explores Native American labor in the making of the western United States.


Ben completed a B.A. in History at Yale University in 1994 and received a Henry Fellowship to attend Oxford University, where he earned an M.St. in Modern European History. In 2009, he completed a Ph.D. in History at Yale. Before coming to UCLA, Ben was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department and Native American Studies Program at Dartmouth College.

Selected Publications


"Reexamining the American Genocide Debate: Meaning, Historiography, and New Methods," The American Historical Review 120:1 (February 2015), 98-139.

"'Unholy Traffic in Human Blood and Souls:' Systems of California Indian Servitude under U.S. Rule," Pacific Historical Review 83:4 (November 2014), 626-667.

"California's Yuki Indians: Defining Genocide in Native American History," The Western Historical Quarterly 39:3 (Autumn 2008), 303-332.

"From Terror to Genocide: Britain's Tasmanian Penal Colony and Australia's History Wars," Journal of British Studies 47:1 (January 2008), 77-106.

"From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa incubated ideas and methods adopted and developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe," European History Quarterly 35:3 (July 2005), 429-464.

"Patterns of Frontier Genocide, 1803-1910: The Aboriginal Tasmanians, the Yuki of California, and the Herero of Namibia," Journal of Genocide Research 6:2 (June 2004), 167-192.


"California and Oregon's Modoc Indians: How Indigenous Resistance Camouflages Genocide in Colonial Histories" in Andrew Woolford, Jeff Benvenuto, and Alexander Laban Hinton, eds., Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014), 95-130.

"The Genocide of California's Yana Indians" in Samuel Totten and William S. Parsons, eds., Centuries of Genocide: Essays and Eyewitness Accounts (New York: Routledge, 2012), 16-53.

"Tactics of Nineteenth Century Colonial Massacre: Tasmania, California and Beyond" in Philip G. Dwyer and Lyndall Ryan, eds., Theatres of Violence: Massacres, Mass Killing and Atrocity Throughout History (New York: Berghan Books, 2012), 110-125.

"When 'The World Was Turned Upside Down': California and Oregon's Tolowa Indian Genocide, 1851-1856" in Adam Jones, ed., New Directions in Genocide Research (New York: Routledge, 2011), 170-196.


Deborah and Jon Lawrence, Violent Encounters: Interviews On Western Massacres (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011) in The Western Historical Quarterly 43:2 (Summer, 2012), 224-225.

Saul Friedländer, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007) in Journal of Genocide Research 12:3 (Autumn, 2010), 279-280.

Richard T. Stillson, Spreading the Word: A History of Information in the California Gold Rush (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006) in The Western Historical Quarterly 39:1 (Spring, 2008), 79-80.

Frank Baumgardner, Killing for Land in Early California: Indian Blood at Round Valley, 1856-1863 (New York: Algora Publishing, 2005) in The Americas 64:2 (October, 2007), 279-280.

William D. Rubinstein, Genocide: A History (Harlow: Longman, 2004) in European History Quarterly 36:2 (April, 2006), 332-334.


Namibia: Genocide and the Second Reich, a 60-minute BBC documentary (first aired December 7, 2004).


Phi Alpha Theta/ Westerners International Dissertation Prize, 2010

Yale University Fredrick W. Beinecke Dissertation Prize, 2009

Arrell M. Gibson Award for best article of 2008, in any journal, on Native American History, 2009

Oscar O. Winther Award for best article of 2008 in The Western Historical Quarterly, 2009

Grad Students

Preston McBride

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