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The American Indian and the Problem of History - Calvin Martin

The American Indian and the Problem of History

By: Calvin Martin (Editor)

Paperback Published: 22nd January 1987
ISBN: 9780195038569
Number Of Pages: 246

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The problem of history for North American Indians is that historical consciousness has traditionally been irrelevant to them, perhaps even dangerous. Time, with its attendant experiences, realities, and knowledge, was not linear, progressive, and novel. Their vision of themselves in relation to the cosmos was very different from the anthropocentric perspective that came to dominate Western thinking. Each of the eighteen authors herein wrestles with the phenomenon that in writing about Indians and whites in concert scholars are perforce trying to mesh two very different structures and systems of reality and knowledge--two fundamentally different cosmologies--which in fact do not really fit together. In essays written especially for this volume, each scholar confronts the problem from his or her distinct experience as historian, anthropologist, professional writer, Native or non-Native American. This in not a book about methodology; it probes far deeper than that. It questions whether formal Western history has the philosophical power and imagination to enable scholars to write about life and world societies who were conceived in history, who did not willingly launch themselves out onto an historical trajectory, and who performed in the Western vision and errand of history only through coercion. Here, then, is a study of the "metaphysics" of writing Indian-white history.

"The most challenging volume on the historiography of Indian-white relations yet published....[The] volume must have an impact on the conduct of history and the social sciences in their dealings with tribal peoples. The collection is certainly among the best of the recent critiques of the social sciences."--South Dakota History "An excellent analysis of the evolving methodology and metaphysics of the 'New Indian History.'...These through-provoking essays are highly recommended."--Choice "[An] important book...written for those concerned with writing Native American history, anthropology, and 'ethnohistory,' but it also speaks to the approaches taken by social scientists examining different cultures....Those actively working in the field of American Indian history and those thinking of entering the field would do well to read this thoughtful and challenging collection."--Wisconsin Magazine of History "Useful for upper division undergraduates and for scholars wishing to sample the intense historiographical debate within ethnohistory."--The Western Historical Quarterly "Martin's collection provides a bracing antidote to conventional historiography."--Great Plains Quarterly "The most challenging volume on the historiography of Indian-white relations yet published....[The] volume must have an impact on the conduct of history and the social sciences in their dealings with tribal peoples. The collection is certainly among the best of the recent critiques of the social sciences."--South Dakota History "An excellent analysis of the evolving methodology and metaphysics of the 'New Indian History.'...These through-provoking essays are highly recommended."--Choice "[An] important book...written for those concerned with writing Native American history, anthropology, and 'ethnohistory,' but it also speaks to the approaches taken by social scientists examining different cultures....Those actively working in the field of American Indian history and those thinking of entering the field would do well to read this thoughtful and challenging collection."--Wisconsin Magazine of History "Useful for upper division undergraduates and for scholars wishing to sample the intense historiographical debate within ethnohistory."--The Western Historical Quarterly "Martin's collection provides a bracing antidote to conventional historiography."--Great Plains Quarterly "A lively and positive collection of essays on the nature, process, and interpretation of history in its many forms. It is an enlightening book which cuts to the heart of the matter of history and Indians."--Roy Wortman, Kenyon College

Contributorsp. xiii
Introduction: An Introduction Aboard the Fidelep. 3
The Metaphysics of Writing Indian-White Historyp. 27
Cultural Pluralism Versus Ethnocentrism in the New Indian Historyp. 35
American Indians and American Historyp. 46
Thoughts on Early Canadian Contactp. 55
Demographics of Native American Historyp. 67
Pagans, Converts, and Backsliders, All: A Secular View of the Metaphysics of Indian-White Relationsp. 75
Revision and Reversionp. 84
Distinguishing History from Moral Philosophy and Public Advocacyp. 91
Indians on the Shelfp. 98
The Metaphysics of Dancing Tribesp. 106
On the Revision of Monumentsp. 114
Envision Ourselves Darkly, Imagine Ourselves Richlyp. 120
Fox and Chickadeep. 128
I May Connect Timep. 136
Present Memories, Past Historyp. 144
Personal Reflectionsp. 156
White Buffalo Womanp. 162
From a Native Daughterp. 171
Socioacupuncture: Mythic Reversals and the Striptease in Four Scenesp. 180
Epilogue: Time and the American Indianp. 192
Cumulative Bibliographyp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195038569
ISBN-10: 0195038568
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 246
Published: 22nd January 1987
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.08 x 14.12  x 1.55
Weight (kg): 0.22