245 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Native America about their New Books
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New Books in Native American Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 68 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Native America about their New Books
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    Colin Calloway, "The Chiefs Now in This City: Indians and the Urban Frontier in Early America" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Colin Calloway, "The Chiefs Now in This City: Indians and the Urban Frontier in Early America" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    During the years of the Early Republic, prominent Native leaders regularly traveled to American cities--Albany, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, Montreal, Quebec, New York, and New Orleans--primarily on diplomatic or trade business, but also from curiosity and adventurousness. They were frequently referred to as "the Chiefs now in this city" during their visits, which were sometimes for extended periods of time. Indian people spent a lot of time in town. Colin Calloway, National Book Award finalist and one of the foremost chroniclers of Native American history, has gathered together the accounts of these visits and from them created a new narrative of the country's formative years, redefining what has been understood as the "frontier."
    Calloway's The Chiefs Now in This City: Indians and the Urban Frontier in Early America (Oxford UP, 2021) captures what Native peoples observed as they walked the streets, sat in pews, attended plays, drank in taverns, and slept in hotels and lodging houses. In the Eastern cities they experienced an urban frontier, one in which the Indigenous world met the Atlantic world. Calloway's book reveals not just what Indians saw but how they were seen. Crowds gathered to see them, sometimes to gawk; people attended the theatre to watch “the Chiefs now in this city” watch a play.
    Their experience enriches and redefines standard narratives of contact between the First Americans and inhabitants of the American Republic, reminding us that Indian people dealt with non-Indians in multiple ways and in multiple places. The story of the country's beginnings was not only one of violent confrontation and betrayal, but one in which the nation's identity was being forged by interaction between and among cultures and traditions.
    Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.
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    • 58 min
    Peter C. Mancall, "The Trials of Thomas Morton" (Yale UP, 2019)

    Peter C. Mancall, "The Trials of Thomas Morton" (Yale UP, 2019)

    Every good story needs a villain, and some of the early chroniclers of the pilgrim and puritan settlements found all they needed for this type of character in Thomas Morton. Peter C. Mancall tells the story in The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for a New England (Yale UP, 2019), in what reads perhaps like a historical legal thriller novel. Most of our knowledge of Morton comes from the records left by his enemies, but Mancall's new research into this enigmatic figure unveils how this unlikely anti-hero can shed tremendous light on alternate possibilities in the contentious early years of the European-Native encounter. Morton's own writings portray a vision of an altogether different kind of indigenous–settler future. Yet Morton's continued antagonism of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonial governments led to his repeated exile. While he was repudiated by the earliest generations of readers for debauchery and political menace, subsequent generations continue to find in Thomas Morton a countercultural icon in a world dominated by religious dissidents.
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    • 49 min
    Association of Asian American Studies Book Awards 2021: Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley and Jan-Henry Gray

    Association of Asian American Studies Book Awards 2021: Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley and Jan-Henry Gray

    This is the second episode of a four-part series featuring the winners and honorable mentions of the 2021 Book Awards for the Association of Asian American Studies. This episode features two of the winners in Creative Writing: Poetry: Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, whose poetry collection Colonize Me explores the lives of those communities and peoples on the intersections of indigeneity, migration, Asian, queerness, and lower class; and Jan-Henry Gray, whose collection Documents traces Gray’s upbringing as a queer undocumented Filipino American.
    Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York and is an assistant professor of poetry and nonfiction in Old Dominion University’s MFA program. His poetry collection Colonize Me won the AAAS award in Creative Writing: Poetry.
    Jan-Henry Gray currently teaches at Adelphi University in New York. Born in the Philippines and raised in California where he worked as a chef, Jan lived undocumented in the U.S. for more than 32 years. His poetry collection Documents won honorable mention in Creative Writing: Poetry.
    Christopher B. Patterson is an Assistant Professor in the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia.
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    • 49 min
    Danielle Geller, "Dog Flowers: A Memoir" (One World, 2021)

    Danielle Geller, "Dog Flowers: A Memoir" (One World, 2021)

    Not long ago, the only resource for uncovering our familial pasts was to consult libraries and archives, combing old newspapers for birth announcements and obituaries. These days, many people are turning to websites like Ancestry and 23andMe, taking DNA tests to learn more about their ancestors and where they came from—often discovering long buried secrets and long lost relatives in the process. But for some, the answers to these questions exist not in archives or in their DNA, but within a suitcase.
    When writer Danielle Geller’s estranged mother passed away, she left behind just eight suitcases of belongings, cataloging her wayward spirit, moving between boyfriends, states, and jobs, at times experiencing homelessness. In her debut memoir, Dog Flowers (One World, 2021), Geller, trained as an archivist, consolidates the most important artifacts from the collection—never before seen photographs, documents, letters, and diaries—piecing together a portrait of the mother she grew up without, and reconnecting with her Navajo heritage in the process.
    Today on the New Books Network, join us as we sit down to chat with Danielle Geller about her striking family memoir, Dog Flowers, available now from One World (2021).
    Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University, where she studies and teaches creative writing and rhetoric & composition. She is the managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, and the co-editor of its anthology, The Best of Brevity (Rose Metal Press, 2020).
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    • 51 min
    Katrina Phillips, "Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Katrina Phillips, "Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History" (UNC Press, 2021)

    As tourists increasingly moved across the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a surprising number of communities looked to capitalize on the histories of Native American people to create tourist attractions. Locals staged performances that claimed to honor an Indigenous past while depicting that past on white settlers' terms. Linking the origins of these performances to their present-day incarnations, Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) reveals how they constituted what Dr. Katrina Phillips calls "salvage tourism.” Across time, Phillips argues, tourism, nostalgia, and authenticity converge in the creation of salvage tourism, which blends tourism and history, contestations over citizenship, identity, belonging, and the continued use of Indians and Indianness as a means of escape, entertainment, and economic development.
    Dr. Katrina Phillips is assistant professor of American Indian history at Macalester College.
    Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.
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    • 57 min
    Patrick Spero, "Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776" (Norton, 2018)

    Patrick Spero, "Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776" (Norton, 2018)

    Boston, Philadelphia, London...Fort Loudon, PA. One of these places is not usually included when imagining the crucial scenes of the American Revolution. In Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776 (W. W. Norton, 2018), Dr. Patrick Spero argues that the early West was just as important to the unfolding American Revolution as events in imperial centers and colonial cities. Spero, Librarian and Director for the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, tells the story of the imperial crisis through several Western characters: Ottawa and pan-Indigenous leader Pontiac, Irish trader and diplomat George Croghan, and settlers James and William Smith, among others. In this narrative driven book, Spero describes how Smith and the so-called Black Boys articulated fears, rooted in anti-Native racism, that predated and motivated arguments for independence on the eastern seaboard years before anyone threw tea in Boston Harbor. When viewed from the West, the American Revolution seems less noble and high minded, and far dirtier, more violent, and perhaps more revolutionary, than the story most Americans know.
    Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

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