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Transforming Ethnohistories: Narrative, Meaning, and Community

edited by Sebastian Felix Braun ; afterword by Raymond J. DeMallie
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, [2013]
9780806143941, 0806143940
" Anthropologists need history to understand how the past has shaped the present. Historians need anthropology to help them interpret the past. Where anthropologists' and historians' needs intersect is ethnohistory. The contributors to this volume have been inspired in large part by the teaching and writing of distinguished ethnohistorian Raymond J. DeMallie, whose exemplary combination of ethnographic and archival research demonstrates the ways anthropology and history can work together to create an understanding of the past and the present. Transforming Ethnohistories comprises ten new avenues of ethnohistorical research ranging in topic from fiddling performances to environmental disturbance and spanning places from North Carolina to the Yukon. The authors seek to understand communities by finding and interpreting their stories in a variety of different texts, some of which lie outside academic understanding and research methodology. It is exactly those stories, conventionally labeled "myths" or "oral tradition, " that ethnohistorians demand we pay attention to. Although historians cannot see or talk to their informants as anthropologists do, both anthropologists and historians can listen to oral histories and written documents for the essential stories they contain. The essays assembled here use DeMallie's approach to contribute to the history and anthropology of Native North America and address issues of literary criticism and contexts, sociolinguistics, performance theory, identity and historical change, historical and anthropological methods and theory, and the interpretation of histories, cultures, and stories. Debates over the legitimacy of ethnohistory as a specialization have led some scholars to declare its decline. This volume shows ethnohistory to be alive and well and continuing to attract young scholars"--
  • Introduction: An ethnohistory of listening / Sebastian Felix Braun
  • Borders and layers, symbols and meanings: Raymond J. DeMallie's commitment to ethnohistory, with nods to thick description and symbolic anthropology / David Reed Miller
  • Swing time: narrative, collective improvisation, and the ethnohistorical method / Kellie J. Hogue
  • Invaluable intangibles: Raymond J. DeMallie, "fictive kin, " and contemporary heritage performance / Sarah Quick
  • What can we make of James Adair's "feast of love"? Contextualizing a Native American ceremonial from the Lower Mississippi Valley, ca. 1765 / Jason Baird Jackson
  • "He said he would show [the tobacco] to M. Ogden": voice and historical role in the Tsilhqut'in fur trade / David W. Dinwoodie
  • The contemporary significance of native language texts: Arthur John, Sr.'s account of John Martin and the Kaska stick gamblers / Patrick Moore
  • "Conquering the mighty Sioux": an ethnohistory of William Bordeaux / Raymond Bucko
  • The search for an honest man: Iktomi Ȟcala as an ethnohistorical and humanistic conundrum / Paul L. Wagoner
  • Acts of inscription: language and dialogism in the archives / Mindy Morgan
  • Against procedural landscapes: community, kinship, and history / Sebastian Felix Braun
  • Epilogue / Raymond Fogelson
  • Afterword: Thinking ethnohistorically / Raymond J. DeMallie.
xiv, 301 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-289) and index.
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