MIT21A_226F09_lec1920 - Nov. 16, 18, 2009 19-20: CULTURE...

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Nov. 16, 18, 2009 19-20: CULTURE RECOVERY: CONTROVERSIES OVER APPROPRIATION OF AND “SELLING” CULTURE Read: Nagel: American Indian population growth: changing patterns of Indian ethnic identification, 83-105; The politics of American Indian ethnicity: solving the puzzle of Indian ethnic resurgence, 113-141; Red Power: Reforging Identity and Culture: 158-178; Renewing Culture and Community: 187-205 Ramos: Pulp Fictions of Indigenism I. Introduction A. In the readings so far we’ve seen many examples of a resurgence of interest in one’s own culture, in particular of minority groups 1. Leading to cultural recovery projects—restoration, etc. 2. We’ve seen that such projects are often controversial, contested 3. Let’s explore why II. Why were efforts successful at this time and not before? A. Spaces opened up in mainstream society 1. Attitudes, state legislation, school curricula, etc. 2. DISCUSS: spaces opening up in Brazil? B. Obviously a very different climate from earlier situation during colonial and “nation-building” eras 1. In the U.S. and elsewhere: assimilation and eradication projects in 18 th , 19 th and earlier 20 th century (e.g., in U.S.: termination) 2. Example: painting of “American Progress” 1 a. John Gast the artist, 1872: “at a glance the grand drama of Progress in the civilization, settlement and history of our own happy land” b. Shows Indians (and bears) fleeing the (young and female) Spirit of Progress 1 In Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., 1978. The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present . New York: Vintage: plate 8. 19-20 Culture, Appropriations, Heritage, Selling Culture 2009 1/19/10
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2 2 See Philip Deloria, 1998. Playing Indian . New Haven: Yale University Press. 3. Indian images have always permeated U.S. national identity 2 a. One of the earliest symbols of American Revolution: the Boston Tea Party 1) Men dressed as Indians dumped tea into the harbor, protesting British taxation b. But these are symbols : the actual people were going to disappear c. The same occurred in Latin American countries: earlier civilizations (Aztec, Maya, Inca) provided an image of a glorious non-European past 1) But the Indians themselves were to become Catholic, Spanish-speaking citizens, an amalgamation of indigenous and European—“ la raza cósmica ” (the cosmic race)— mestizos 2) Indigenous societies were going to disappear, through assimilation or some other mechanism 3) A Brazilian anthropologist, Darcy Ribeiro, predicted that Brazilian Indians would disappear by the year 2000 (Ramos, p. 377) III. Multiculturalism A. How culture is to be defined very important matter when we examine cultural recovery, heritage recovery projects 1. At present in anthropology the notion of culture is highly contested 2. You see confirmation of this in many of our readings a. Nagel, Handler, Ramos, the Warren and Jackson reading for next week B. The culture concept is being debated in anthropology just at the time that
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.

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MIT21A_226F09_lec1920 - Nov. 16, 18, 2009 19-20: CULTURE...

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