Rae Gould, Staff


In this interview, Rae Gould, Associate Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Brown University and member of Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts, shares her experiences living with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Gould begins by recalling her initial thoughts on COVID-19 in March 2020. She remembers that she did not recognize it as a serious threat and kept her plans to go on a birthday trip to New Hampshire. She explains that friends at other universities were canceling their travel plans and it was not until Brown similarly implemented travel restrictions, and when a close friend and healthcare worker warned of the virus, that her concerns increased.

She goes on to describe the Initiative’s transition to remote work as well as their work to realign the program’s priorities. Gould talks about the difficulty of slowing down work in order to check in with colleagues and maintain self-care. She explains that moving away from listening to NPR, scaling back on projects, and embracing gratitude and mindfulness helped her manage her anxieties. She also touches upon Brown’s three-semester plan to welcome students back to campus and speculates on whether it will be a successful decision.

Gould closes by stating that self-isolation is a time to reflect on the United States’ history of imperialism as well as Mother Nature’s attempt to work with and in spite of humans.

Part 1

Part 2


Recorded on July 13, 2020 via Zoom
Interviewed by Amanda Knox, Pembroke Center Assistant Archivist

Suggested Chicago style citation: Gould, Rae. Interview. By Amanda Knox. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. July 13, 2020.


Dr. Rae Gould joined the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Brown University in 2019 as Associate Director. Her primary responsibilities include oversight of developing an undergraduate concentration in Native American and Indigenous Studies, programming to support and supplement academic developments, and tribal outreach. She also collaborates with centers, departments, and offices across the campus, and at other institutions, on academic programming and engagement, in addition to contributing to increased engagement with and support for undergraduate and graduate students. Her research and publishing focus on Southern New England Native American history and culture in the 400 years since European contact, with additional expertise in Indigenous cultural landscapes, federal acknowledgement, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and Section 106. Gould holds an MA (2005) and a PhD (2010) in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut and a BA in Art History and Anthropology from Connecticut College. She is a member of Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts.