Peace and conflict series: “The Last of the Mohicans”

The department of history hosted a series of lectures via zoom on Peace and Conflict Studies and accompanied those lessons with award winning films.

The film “The Last of the Mohicans” went with the most recent lecture on the French and Indian War. History professor Kevin Kokomoor identified key elements of the war depicted in the film to help audiences understand this era of history.

In the first lecture, Kokomoor explained the social and cultural experiences between European settlers and Native Americans. He then elaborated on the impact those experiences had on the French and Indian war.

“Single men arrived from France and that is why they are marrying in. That is why they are fur traders,” Kokomoor said. “Entire families arrived amongst the Puritans from Britain. These Puritans want 100 acres for their farm. They are not here to trade furs, they are here for land.”

The French needed the Native American’s skills and expertise to monopolize the fur trade, while the British needed them both to leave.

Kokomoor explained the fundamental differences between Euro-American and Native American fighting styles demonstrated in the film. He also explained how the idea of Native American retributive justice and fictive kin plays a role.

“Where is the European War, and where is the American war in the film?” He asked.

The French fought a European war to win land to continue the fur trade, demonstrated with their siege of Fort William Henry when they used mortar projectiles and cannons.

The British surrendered and the French informed their Huron allies of the victory, but the Huron were furious. The scalps of victims are a symbol of victory for Native Americans.

“What struck me most is not that they fought differently, but that victory looked so different for the two of them that it seemed to me impossible that the French and Indians could ever win the war,” Nancy Davis, an attendee, said.

The next lecture in the series focuses on 17th-century New France and will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. over zoom. To learn more about The Peace and Conflicts Studies Lecture and Film Series, visit