Ben Madley

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Email    madley@ucla.edu
Office  5371 Bunche
Phone  3108254601
Native American History, California and Oregon Indians, Genocide and American Indians, Unfree Native American Labor, Colonial Genocide and Indigenous peoples.

Benjamin Madley is an historian of Native America, the United States, and colonialism in world history. Born in Redding, California, he 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 colonialism in Africa, Australia, and Europe, often applying a transnational and comparative approach. 

Madley is the author of a dozen peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles. His book chapters have been published in four edited volumes. His eight articles have appeared in journals ranging from the American Historical Review to European History Quarterly and the Journal of Genocide Research.

Yale University Press published his first book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873This book received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, the Raphael Lemkin Book Award from the Institute for the Study of Genocide,  the Charles Redd Center / Phi Alpha Theta Award for the Best Book on the American West, the California Book Awards Gold Medal for Californiana, the Heyday Books History Award, and the Norman Neuerburg Award from the Historical Society of Southern California. It was also named a New York Times Book ReviewEditor's Choice, an Indian Country Today Hot List book, and a Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title. True West Magazine named Madley the Best New Western Author of 2016. According to California Governor Jerry Brown, "Madley corrects the record with his gripping story of what really happened: the actual genocide of a vibrant civilization, thousands of years in the making."


History Ph.D., Yale University, 2009
History M.Phil, Yale University, 2005
History M.A., Yale University, 2005
History M.Stud., Oxford University, 1995 History B.A, Yale University, 1994


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

Research Methods:

  • Archival historian