New Video Recording From Rare Book School: “Making and Reading Indigenous Archives”
From the Video Description:
A National Endowment for the Humanities-Global Book Histories Initiative Lecture, delivered on 15 June 2022 by.
Where and what are Indigenous archives? What reading practices have they generated historically, and what reading practices might scholars need to approach those archives in our own moment? This talk examines how Indigenous writers in nineteenth-century North America made archives within their own communities and how they strategically circulated their books into colonial archives. These acts of circulating Indigenous books generated reading practices that Indigenous writers brought to bear on the proliferating archives–from national repositories to local historical societies–that settlers were founding and expanding in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
I trace this history of archival making and reading in two episodes: one involving a book of vocabulary lists in Abenaki and English that its creator, the Abenaki leader Joseph Laurent, sent into ethnographic archives, and the second revolving around a birch bark booklet that its maker, Simon Pokagon, contrasted with U.S. archives of empire. I examine the construction and circulation of these books, following them into the Bureau of American Ethology archives and through the fairgrounds at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Both Laurent and Pokagon explicitly connected their books’ travels to ways of reading the ethnographic archives each man encountered. I have two objectives in tracing these Indigenous archives: one is to decenter institutional collecting projects as the primary framework for reading Native American books held in archives and libraries, and two, to ask how scholars might reckon with the Indigenous places and relationships within which national and local archives reside.
Kelly Wisecup is Associate Professor of English at Northwestern University, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. She is the author, most recently, of Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Native American Literatures (2021) and co-editor, with Lisa Brooks, of Plymouth Colony: Narratives of English Settlement and Native Resistance from the Mayflower to King Philip’s War (2022). She directs several grant-funded collaborations among university faculty, students, and Indigenous organizations at the intersections of archives, rivers, cities, and Indigenous literatures.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.