Kelly Wisecup: "Query Lists, Animal Parts, and Ethnographic Collections"

  • Datum: –16.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 6-3025 (Rausingrummet) samt online (Zoom)
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för idé- och lärdomshistoria
  • Kontaktperson: Linda Andersson Burnett
  • Seminarium

Instructing Colonial Natural History Seminar Series

Research presentation by Kelly Wisecup, Northwestern University.

The event will be held online. To register for the Zoom link, please email instructingnaturalhistory@uu.se. Participants are invited to attend the online seminar on site in Uppsala.

The Instructing Colonial Natural History Seminar Series is organised by the Instructing Natural History Research Group, Uppsala University.

Abstract

This talk will discuss query lists with which U.S. ethnographers sought to solicit and organize information about Indigenous languages and history in the nineteenth century. Taking as its focus the 1826 query lists that Albert Gallatin sent to the Cherokee lawyer John Ridge and the query lists and instructions that Bureau of American Ethnology head John Wesley Powell prepared for collecting Indigenous language words in the 1870s, this talk asks how these ethnographers hoped to use the form of the list and the materiality of paper to secure the form and content of collected information. I examine as well some of the returns to these queries, which both accede to and extend outside the query form (including to a scene of animal dissection). This talk draws on both the history of science and Native American and Indigenous Studies methodologies to consider the historical and long lasting effects of query lists and collecting.

Image: Joseph Laurent’s word lists, in New Familiar Abenakis-English Dialogues (1884). Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection. Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

Joseph Laurent’s word lists, in New Familiar Abenakis-English Dialogues (1884). Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection. Archives and