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ERIC Number: EJ939018
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
Actually Existing Indian Nations: Modernity, Diversity, and the Future of Native American Studies
Lyons, Scott Richard
American Indian Quarterly, v35 n3 p294-312 Sum 2011
The field of Native American studies was invented during the 1960s, a product of the Red Power civil rights movement, which is to suggest that it shares an origin story with ethnic studies in general. The field was at the center of the ethnic studies movement, and it radically transformed how Native peoples and cultures were studied. The author shows that the still-developing field of Native American studies has had its purview radically expanded over the past four decades. The field is now a great deal more political than it was before, and the theoretical paradigms supporting its various politics have multiplied. To study Native Americans today means situating one's subject in any number of possible theories, contexts, and discourses, from the reservation to the world. But in what direction should the field move now? The author suggests that the next big project for Native American studies, and indeed for the indigenous movement as a whole, is to develop new ways of engaging with the irreducible modernity and diversity that inheres in every Native community and has for some time. This means interrogating the theoretical discourses now in circulation, especially nationalism, which is dominant, to examine the assumptions that undergird their politics. Such unstated assumptions can mischaracterize the real makeup of Native communities and ironically reactivate the old ethnographic-formal model.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A