Indians and Anthropologists

Vine Deloria, Jr., and the Critique of Anthropology

Thomas Biolsi (Editor), Larry J. Zimmerman (Editor)
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In 1969 Vine Deloria, Jr., in his controversial book Custer Died for Your Sins, criticized the anthropological community for its impersonal dissection of living Native American cultures. Twenty-five years later, anthropologists have become more sensitive to Native American concerns, and Indian people have become more active in fighting for accurate representations of their cultures. In this collection of essays, Indian and non-Indian scholars examine how the relationship between anthropology and Indians has changed over that quarter-century and show how controversial this issue remains. Practitioners of cultural anthropology, archaeology, education, and history provide multiple lenses through which to view how Deloria's message has been interpreted or misinterpreted. Among the contributions are comments on Deloria's criticisms, thoughts on the reburial issue, and views on the ethnographic study of specific peoples. A final contribution by Deloria himself puts the issue of anthropologist/Indian interaction in the context of the century's end.

Introduction: What's Changed, What Hasn't, Thomas Biolsi & Larry J. Zimmerman
Part One--Deloria Writes Back
Vine Deloria, Jr., in American Historiography, Herbert T. Hoover
Growing Up on Deloria: The Impact of His Work on a New Generation of Anthropologists, Elizabeth S. Grobsmith
Educating an Anthro: The Influence of Vine Deloria, Jr., Murray L. Wax
Part Two--Archaeology and American Indians
Why Have Archaeologists Thought That the Real Indians Were Dead and What Can We Do about It?, Randall H. McGuire
Anthropology and Responses to the Reburial Issue, Larry J. Zimmerman
Part Three-Ethnography and Colonialism
Here Come the Anthros, Cecil King
Beyond Ethics: Science, Friendship and Privacy, Marilyn Bentz
The Anthropological Construction of Indians: Haviland Scudder Mekeel and the Search for the Primitive in Lakota Country, Thomas Biolsi
Informant as Critic: Conducting Research on a Dispute between Iroquoianist Scholars and Traditional Iroquois, Gail Landsman
The End of Anthropology (at Hopi)?, Peter Whiteley
Conclusion: Anthros, Indians and Planetary Reality, Vine Deloria, Jr.
"North American anthropology can be divided into two ages: BD and AD—Before and After Deloria. In 1969 cultural anthropology was shaken by Vine Deloria's witty diatribe, Custer Died for Your Sins. Twenty years later, cultural anthropologist Tom Biolsi and archaeologist Larry Zimmerman organized a symposium on the subsequent relationship between anthropologists and American Indians. Indians and Anthropologists assembles several of these papers and some new ones in what will certainly be an often-cited collection." —Great Plains Quarterly

"In this volume, which constitutes a multifold, thought-provoking, and articulate effort to assess the effects of Deloria's challenges, several authors suspect that the reasons anthropologists shy away from Indian Country have less to do with the real transformation of the discipline Deloria advocated and more to do with the ongoing problems Deloria denounced."
Journal of Anthropological Research

"This excellent collection features an impressive array of scholars, all of whom have clearly taken Deloria's critique to heart." —Annals of Iowa

"A provocative reassessment of reaction to Deloria's 1969 challenge, this collection of essays raises further questions about the debate, suggesting that the controversy will continue to challenge both the academy and Native America." —New Mexico Historical Review

"Highly recommended for anyone who wants to become more fully aware of Vine Deloria, Jr.'s impact on American academia." —Oregon Historical Quarterly

"A watershed . . . An excellent book for the general reader and for classroom supplementary studies." —Chronicles of Oklahoma
Indians and Anthropologists
236 Pages 6 x 9 x 0.7 Published: 1997 Paperback (9780816516070)
Ebook (9780816544479)

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