Cartographic Encounters
by John Rennie Short
Reaktion Books, 2009

There’s no excuse for getting lost these days—satellite maps on our computers can chart our journey in detail and electronics on our car dashboards instruct us which way to turn. But there was a time when the varied landscape of North America was largely undocumented, and expeditions like that of Lewis and Clark set out to map its expanse. As John Rennie Short argues in Cartographic Encounters, that mapping of the New World was only possible due to a unique relationship between the indigenous inhabitants and the explorers.

            In this vital reinterpretation of American history, Short describes how previous accounts of the mapping of the new world have largely ignored the fundamental role played by local, indigenous guides. The exchange of information that resulted from this “cartographic encounter” allowed the native Americans to draw upon their wide knowledge of the land in the hope of gaining a better position among the settlers.

            This account offers a radical new understanding of Western expansion and the mapping of the land and will be essential to scholars in cartography and American history.

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Museums and Maori
by Conal McCarthy
Left Coast Press, 2011
This groundbreaking book explores the revolution in New Zealand museums that is influencing the care and exhibition of indigenous objects worldwide. Drawing on practical examples and research in all kinds of institutions, Conal McCarthy explores the history of relations between museums and indigenous peoples, innovative exhibition practices, community engagement, and curation. He lifts the lid on current practice, showing how museum professionals deal with the indigenous objects in their care, engage with tribal communities, and meet the needs of visitors. The first critical study of its kind, Museums and Maori is an indispensible resource for professionals working with indigenous objects, indigenous communities and cultural centers, and for researchers and students in museology and indigenous studies programs.
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Eye Contact
by Jane Lydon
series edited by Nicholas Thomas
Duke University Press, 2005
An indigenous reservation in the colony of Victoria, Australia, the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station was a major site of cross-cultural contact the mid-nineteenth century and early twentieth. Coranderrk was located just outside Melbourne, and from its opening in the 1860s the colonial government commissioned many photographs of its Aboriginal residents. The photographs taken at Coranderrk Station circulated across the western world; they were mounted in exhibition displays and classified among other ethnographic “data” within museum collections. The immense Coranderrk photographic archive is the subject of this detailed, richly illustrated examination of the role of visual imagery in the colonial project. Offering close readings of the photographs in the context of Australian history and nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century photographic practice, Jane Lydon reveals how western society came to understand Aboriginal people through these images. At the same time, she demonstrates that the photos were not solely a tool of colonial exploitation. The residents of Coranderrk had a sophisticated understanding of how they were portrayed, and they became adept at manipulating their representations.

Lydon shows how the photographic portrayals of the Aboriginal residents of Coranderrk changed over time, reflecting various ideas of the colonial mission—from humanitarianism to control to assimilation. In the early twentieth century, the images were used on stereotypical postcards circulated among the white population, showing what appeared to be compliant, transformed Aboriginal subjects. The station closed in 1924 and disappeared from public view until it was rediscovered by scholars years later. Aboriginal Australians purchased the station in 1998, and, as Lydon describes, today they are using the Coranderrk photographic archive in new ways, to identify family members and tell stories of their own.

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Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment in Africa and North America
edited by David M. Gordon and Shepard Krech
Ohio University Press, 2012
Indigenous knowledge has become a catchphrase in global struggles for environmental justice. Yet indigenous knowledges are often viewed, incorrectly, as pure and primordial cultural artifacts. This collection draws from African and North American cases to argue that the forms of knowledge identified as “indigenous” resulted from strategies to control environmental resources during and after colonial encounters.

At times indigenous knowledges represented a “middle ground” of intellectual exchanges between colonizers and colonized; elsewhere, indigenous knowledges were defined through conflict and struggle. The authors demonstrate how people claimed that their hybrid forms of knowledge were communal, religious, and traditional, as opposed to individualist, secular, and scientific, which they associated with European colonialism.

Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment offers comparative and transnational insights that disturb romantic views of unchanging indigenous knowledges in harmony with the environment. The result is a book that informs and complicates how indigenous knowledges can and should relate to environmental policy-making.

Contributors: David Bernstein, Derick Fay, Andrew H. Fisher, Karen Flint, David M. Gordon, Paul Kelton, Shepard Krech III, Joshua Reid, Parker Shipton, Lance van Sittert, Jacob Tropp, James L. A. Webb, Jr., Marsha Weisiger
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Queer Indigenous Studies
edited by Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley and Scott Lauria Morgensen
University of Arizona Press, 2011
“This book is an imagining.” So begins this collection examining critical, Indigenous-centered approaches to understanding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit (GLBTQ2) lives and communities and the creative implications of queer theory in Native studies. This book is not so much a manifesto as it is a dialogue—a “writing in conversation”—among a luminous group of scholar-activists revisiting the history of gay and lesbian studies in Indigenous communities while forging a path for Indigenouscentered theories and methodologies.

The bold opening to Queer Indigenous Studies invites new dialogues in Native American and Indigenous studies about the directions and implications of queer Indigenous studies. The collection notably engages Indigenous GLBTQ2 movements as alliances that also call for allies beyond their bounds, which the co-editors and contributors model by crossing their varied identities, including Native, trans, straight, non-Native, feminist, Two-Spirit, mixed blood, and queer, to name just a few.

Rooted in the Indigenous Americas and the Pacific, and drawing on disciplines ranging from literature to anthropology, contributors to Queer Indigenous Studies call Indigenous GLBTQ2 movements and allies to center an analysis that critiques the relationship between colonialism and heteropatriarchy. By answering critical turns in Indigenous scholarship that center Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies, contributors join in reshaping Native studies, queer studies, transgender studies, and Indigenous feminisms.

Based on the reality that queer Indigenous people “experience multilayered oppression that profoundly impacts our safety, health, and survival,” this book is at once an imagining and an invitation to the reader to join in the discussion of decolonizing queer Indigenous research and theory and, by doing so, to partake in allied resistance working toward positive change.
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Indigenous Citizens
by Karen Caplan
Stanford University Press, 2009
Indigenous Citizens challenges the commonly held assumption that early nineteenth-century Mexican state-building was a failure of liberalism. By comparing the experiences of two Mexican states, Oaxaca and Yucatán, Caplan shows how the institutions and ideas associated with liberalism became deeply entrenched in Mexico's regions, but only on locally acceptable terms.

Faced with the common challenge of incorporating new institutions into political life, Mexicans—be they indigenous villagers, government officials, or local elites—negotiated ways to make those institutions compatible with a range of local interests. Although Oaxaca and Yucatán both had large indigenous majorities, the local liberalisms they constructed incorporated indigenous people differently as citizens. As a result, Oaxaca experienced relative social peace throughout this era, while Yucatán exploded with indigenous rebellion beginning in 1847.

This book puts the interaction between local and national liberalisms at the center of the narrative of Mexico's nineteenth century. It suggests that "liberalism" must be understood not as an overarching system imposed on the Mexican nation but rather as a set of guiding assumptions and institutions that Mexicans put to use in locally specific ways.

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Queequeg’s Coffin
by Birgit Brander Rasmussen
Duke University Press, 2012
The encounter between European and native peoples in the Americas is often portrayed as a conflict between literate civilization and illiterate savagery. That perception ignores the many indigenous forms of writing that were not alphabet-based, such as Mayan pictoglyphs, Iroquois wampum, Ojibwe birch-bark scrolls, and Incan quipus. Queequeg's Coffin offers a new definition of writing that comprehends the dazzling diversity of literature in the Americas before and after European arrivals. This groundbreaking study recovers previously overlooked moments of textual reciprocity in the colonial sphere, from a 1645 French-Haudenosaunee Peace Council to Herman Melville's youthful encounters with Polynesian hieroglyphics.

By recovering the literatures and textual practices that were indigenous to the Americas, Birgit Brander Rasmussen reimagines the colonial conflict as one organized by alternative but equally rich forms of literacy. From central Mexico to the northeastern shores of North America, in the Andes and across the American continents, indigenous peoples and European newcomers engaged each other in dialogues about ways of writing and recording knowledge. In Queequeg's Coffin, such exchanges become the foundation for a new kind of early American literary studies.

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POSSESSING THE PACIFIC
by Stuart Banner
Harvard University Press, 2007
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DISAPPEARING PEOPLES?
edited by Barbara Brower and Barbara Rose Johnston
Left Coast Press, 2007
South and Central Asia is a region of extraordinary cultural and environmental diversity and home to nearly one-quarter of the earth's population. Among these diverse peoples are some whose ways of life are threatened by the accelerating assault of forces of change including environmental degradation, population growth, land loss, warfare, disease, and the penetration of global markets. This volume examines twelve Asian groups whose way of life is endangered. Some are "indigenous" peoples, some are not; each group represents a unique answer to the question of how to survive and thrive on the planet earth, and illustrates both the threats and the responses of peoples caught up in the struggle to sustain cultural meaning, identity, and autonomy. Each chapter, written by an expert scholar for a general audience, offers a cultural overview, explores both threats to survival and the group's responses, and provokes discussion and further research with "food for thought." This powerful documentation of both tragedy and hope for the twenty-first-century survival of centuries-old cultures is a key reference for anyone interested in the region, in cultural survival, or in the interplay of diversification and homogenization.
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