At the turn of the twentieth century, M. E. Ravage set off in steerage for America, one of almost two million Jews who, like millions of others from eastern and southern Europe, were lured by tales of worldly success. Seventeen years after arriving on Ellis Island, Ravage had mastered a new language, found success in college, and engagingly penned in English this vivid account of the ordeals and pleasures of departure and assimilation.
Steven G. Kellman brings Ravage's story to life again in this new edition, providing a brief biography and introduction that place the memoir within historical and literary contexts. An American in the Making contributes to a broader understanding of the global notion of "America" and remains timely, especially in an era when massive immigration, now from Latin America and Asia, challenges ideas of national identity.
A movement for "Americanization" swept the nation during and after World War I, fueled by wartime hysteria over "foreign" ways. Eileen Tamura examines the forms that hysteria took in Hawaii, where the Nisei (children of Japanese immigrants) were targets of widespread discrimination.
Tamura analyzes Hawaii's organized effort to force the Nisei to adopt
"American" ways, discussing it within the larger phenomenon of Nisei acculturation. While racism was prevalent in "paradise," the Nisei and their parents also performed as active agents in their own lives, with the older generation attempting to maintain Japanese cultural ways and the younger wishing to become "true Americans." Caucasian "Americanizers," often associated with powerful agricultural interests, wanted labor to remain cheap and manageable; they lobbied for racist laws and territorial policies, portending the treatment of ethnic Japanese on the U.S. mainland during World War II.
Tamura offers a wealth of original source material, using personal accounts as well as statistical data to create an essential resource for students of American ethnic history and U.S. race and class relations.
The 18th-century South was a true melting pot, bringing together colonists from England, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and other locations, in addition to African slaves—all of whom shared in the experiences of adapting to a new environment and interacting with American Indians. The shared process of immigration, adaptation, and creolization resulted in a rich and diverse historic mosaic of cultures.
The cultural encounters of these groups of settlers would ultimately define the meaning of life in the 19th-century South. The much-studied plantation society of that era and the Confederacy that sprang from it have become the enduring identities of the South. A full understanding of southern history is not possible, however, without first understanding the intermingling and interactions of the region's 18th-century settlers. In the essays collected here, some of the South's leading historical archaeologists examine various aspects of the colonial experience, attempting to understand how cultural identity was expressed, why cultural diversity was eventually replaced by a common identity, and how the various cultures intermeshed.
Written in accessible language, this book will be valuable to archaeologists and non-archaeologists alike. Cultural, architectural, and military historians, cultural anthropologists, geographers, genealogists, and others interested in the cultural legacy of the South will find much of value in this book.
In the Southeast, where the written record goes back five hundred years, historical archaeology is a subdivision of history as well as anthropology, for the compleat historical archaeologist mines all sources. The contributors to this volume on the colonial Carolinas and Georgia ask historical questions, provide ample historical contexts, and present their findings in the common language of scholarship.—The Journal of Southern History
Despite the force of Oregon’s founding mythology, the Willamette Valley was not an empty Eden awaiting settlement by hardy American pioneers. Rather, it was, as Melinda Jetté explores in At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, one of the earliest sites of extensive intercultural contact in the Pacific Northwest.
Jetté’s study focuses on the “hearth” of this contact: French Prairie, so named for the French-Indian families who resettled the homeland of the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyans. Although these families sought a middle course in their relations with their various neighbors, their presence ultimately contributed to the Anglo-American colonization of the region. By establishing farming and husbandry operations in the valley, the French-Indian settlers enhanced the Willamette Valley’s appeal as a destination of choice for the Anglo-Americans who later emigrated to the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon Trail.
Upon these emigrants’ arrival, the social space for the people of the “crossed races” diminished considerably, as the Anglo-Americans instituted a system of settler colonialism based on racial exclusion. Like their Native kin, the French-Indian families pursued various strategies to navigate the changing times and Jetté’s study of French Prairie takes on the relationships among all three: the French-Indian families, the indigenous peoples, and the Anglo-American settlers.
With At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, Jetté delivers a social history that deepens our understanding of the Oregon Country in the nineteenth century. This history of French Prairie provides a window into the multi-racial history of the Pacific Northwest and offers an alternative vision of early Oregon in the lives of the biracial French-Indian families whose community challenged notions of white supremacy, racial separation, and social exclusion.
An illuminating look at the concepts of race, nation, and equality in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America.
The idea that "all men are created equal" is as close to a universal tenet as exists in American history. In this hard-hitting book, David Kazanjian interrogates this tenet, exploring transformative flash points in early America when the belief in equality came into contact with seemingly contrary ideas about race and nation. The Colonizing Trick depicts early America as a white settler colony in the process of becoming an empire--one deeply integrated with Euro-American political economy, imperial ventures in North America and Africa, and pan-American racial formations.
Kazanjian traces tensions between universal equality and racial or national particularity through theoretically informed critical readings of a wide range of texts: the political writings of David Walker and Maria Stewart, the narratives of black mariners, economic treatises, the personal letters of Thomas Jefferson and Phillis Wheatley, Charles Brockden Brown's fiction, congressional tariff debates, international treaties, and popular novelettes about the U.S.-Mexico War and the YucatÃ¡n's Caste War. Kazanjian shows how emergent racial and national formations do not contradict universalist egalitarianism; rather, they rearticulate it, making equality at once restricted, formal, abstract, and materially embodied.
David Kazanjian is associate professor of English, Queens College, and visiting associate professor of English, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
A foundational work in the study of the globalization of culture.
First published in 1991, Culture, Globalization and the World-System is one of the inaugural books discussing the increasing tendency of cultural practices to cross national boundaries. Now widely available in the United States for the first time and updated with a new preface, these influential essays by a distinguished group of scholars and cultural critics lay the groundwork for a vital and exciting new field of inquiry.
Culture, Globalization and the World-System views culture through different prisms and categories--including race, gender, ethnicity, class, and nation. The contributors consider how socially organized systems of meaning are produced and represented. Drawing from sociology, art history, film studies, and anthropology, these essays--many of them representing their authors' only treatment of globalization--provide paradigms for understanding cultures and the representation of identity in "the world as a single place."
"A valuable contribution. The breadth of perspectives offered in this volume grant insight into the coming together of 'the world as a single place' that is absolutely necessary." --Urban Geography
Contributors: Barbara Abou-El-Haj, Janet Abu-Lughod, Stuart Hall, Ulf Hannerz, Roland Robertson, John Tagg, Maureen Turim, Immanuel Wallerstein, Janet Wolff.
Anthony King is professor of art history and sociology at the State University of New York, Binghamtom.
A landmark work on human migration around the globe, Cultures in Contact provides a history of the world told through the movements of its people. It is a broad, pioneering interpretation of the scope, patterns, and consequences of human migrations over the past ten centuries. In this magnum opus thirty years in the making, Dirk Hoerder reconceptualizes the history of migration and immigration, establishing that societal transformation cannot be understood without taking into account the impact of migrations and, indeed, that mobility is more characteristic of human behavior than is stasis.
Signaling a major paradigm shift, Cultures in Contact creates an English-language map of human movement that is not Atlantic Ocean-based. Hoerder describes the origins, causes, and extent of migrations around the globe and analyzes the cultural interactions they have triggered. He pays particular attention to the consequences of immigration within the receiving countries. His work sweeps from the eleventh century forward through the end of the twentieth, when migration patterns shifted to include transpacific migration, return migrations from former colonies, refugee migrations, and distinct regional labor migrations in the developing world. Hoerder demonstrates that as we enter the third millennium, regional and intercontinental migration patterns no longer resemble those of previous centuries. They have been transformed by new communications systems and other forces of globalization and transnationalism.
"Anthropologists and students of anthropology may read this book because it is a superior ethnography, detailed and enriched by theoretical insights. But at the heart of this book is a moral take, a simple but powerful story about an indigenous people who were wronged, who resisted for more than 100 years, and who may yet prevail. This message, ultimately, lends the book its true meaning and value."—William Rodman, Anthropologica
"A major contribution to the ethnography and history of Malaita and Melanesia, and to the growing literature on cultural resistance. But above all, his humane and painful analysis of the meeting of peoples living in different worlds and constructing their agendas and moralities on incommensurate—and apparently equally arbitrary—principles, represents a major contribution and challenge to anthropological thought, addressing the basic issue of what it is to be human."—Fredrik Barth
Empires and Encounters
Wolfgang Reinhard Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress D21.3.E525 2015 | Dewey Decimal 909.08
Between 1350 and 1750 the world reached a tipping point of global connectedness. In this volume of the acclaimed History of the World series, noted international scholars examine five critical geographical areas where exploration and empire building led to expanding interaction—early signals on every continent of a shrinking globe.
Twenty years ago, the Gebusi of the lowland Papua New Guinea rainforest had one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Bruce M. Knauft found then that the killings stemmed from violent scapegoating of suspected sorcerers. But by the time he returned in 1998, homicide rates had plummeted, and Gebusi had largely disavowed vengeance against sorcerers in favor of modern schools, discos, markets, and Christianity.
In this book, Knauft explores the Gebusi's encounter with modern institutions and highlights what their experience tells us more generally about the interaction between local peoples and global forces. As desire for material goods grew among Gebusi, Knauft shows that they became more accepting of and subordinated by Christian churches, community schools,and government officials in their attempt to benefit from them—a process Knauft terms "recessive agency." But the Gebusi also respond actively to modernity, creating new forms of feasting, performance, and music that meld traditional practices with Western ones, all of which Knauft documents in this fascinating study.
This eloquent study describes the complex process of assimilation that occurred among multi-ethnic groups in Wachovia, the evangelical community that settled a 100,000-acre tract in Piedmont North Carolina from 1750 to 1860. It counters commonplace notions that evangelicalism was a divisive force in the antebellum South, demonstrating instead the ability of evangelical beliefs and practices to unify diverse peoples and foster shared cultural values.
In Hope's Promise, Scott Rohrer dissects the internal workings of the ecumenical Moravian movement at Wachovia—how this disparate group of pilgrims hailing from many countries (Germany, Ireland, Scandinavia, England) and different denominations (Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Anglican) yielded their ethnicities as they became, above all, a people of faith. By examining the "open" farm congregations of Hope, Friedberg, and Friedland, Rohrer offers a sensitive portrayal of their evangelical life and the momentous cultural changes it wrought: the organization of tight-knit congregations bound by "heart religion;" the theology of the new birth; the shape of religious discipline; the sacrament of communion; and the role of music. Drawing on courthouse documents and church records, Rohrer carefully demonstrates how various groups began to take on traits of the others. He also illustrates how evangelical values propelled interaction with the outside world—at the meetinghouse and the frontier store, for example—and fostered even more collective and accelerated change.
As the Moravians became ever more "American" and "southern," the polyglot of ethnicities that was Wachovia would, under the unifying banner of evangelicalism, meld into one of the most sophisticated religious communities in early America.
"Hamer has produced a very well-written ethnographic analysis of development and change among the Sadama, a Cushitic-speaking people living along the Rift Valley...The analysis attempts to show how traditional modes of decision making and living adapt to or are adapted to impinging forces of modernization. Hamer's emphasis on humane development is highly appropriate and his analysis is very successful. The focus on inevitable and constant change, and the continuing evolution of the society, makes this study a particularly useful one because the lessons of the Sadama can be generalized far beyond the boundaries of East Africa. The Sadama's particularistic history is of course unique to this group but the patterns of adaption are far more broadly applicable."—Academic Library Book Review
“If colonial America was the melting pot of modernity, it was because it was also a fabulous laboratory of images. . . . Just as much as speech and writing, the image can be a vehicle for all sorts of power and resistance.” So writes Serge Gruzinski in the introduction to Images at War, hisstriking reinterpretation of the Spanish colonization of Mexico.Concentrating on the political meaning of the baroque image and its function within a multicultural society, Gruzinski compares its ubiquity in Mexico to our modern fascination with images and their meaning. Although the baroque image played a decisive role in many arenas, especially that of conquest and New World colonization, its powerful resonance in the sphere of religion is a focal point of Gruzinski’s study. In his analysis of how images conveyed meaning across linguistic barriers, he uncovers recurring themes of false images, less-than-perfect replicas, the uprooting of peoples and cultural memories, and the violence of iconoclastic destruction. He shows how various ethnic groups—Indians, blacks, Europeans—left their distinct marks on images of colonialism and religion, coopting them into expressions of identity or instruments of rebellion. As Gruzinski’s story unfolds, he tells of Aztec idols, the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, conquistadors, Franciscans, and neoclassical attempts to repress the baroque. In the final chapter he discusses the political and religious implications of contemporary imagery—such as that in Mexican soap operas—and speculates about the future of images in Latin America. Originally written in French, this work makes available to an English audience a seminal study of Mexico and the role of the image in the New World.
Néstor García Canclini Duke University Press, 2014 Library of Congress HM841.G3713 2014 | Dewey Decimal 303.482
A leading figure in cultural studies worldwide, Néstor García Canclini is a Latin American thinker who has consistently sought to understand the impact of globalization on the relations between Latin America, Europe, and the United States, and among Latin American countries. In this book, newly available in English, he considers how globalization is imagined by artists, academics, migrants, and entrepreneurs, all of whom traverse boundaries and, at times, engage in conflicted or negotiated multicultural interactions.
García Canclini contrasts the imaginaries of previous migrants to the Americas with those who live in transnational circuits today. He integrates metaphor and narrative, working through philosophical, anthropological, and socioeconomically grounded interpretations of art, literature, crafts, media, and other forms of expression toward his conclusion that globalization is, in important ways, a collection of heterogeneous narratives. García Canclini advocates global imaginaries that generate new strategies for dealing with contingency and produce new forms of citizenship oriented toward multiple social configurations rather than homogenization. This edition of Imagined Globalization includes a significant new introduction by George Yúdice and an interview in which the cultural theorist Toby Miller and García Canclini touch on events including the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street.
This book is a collection of essays showcasing cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that a new generation of scholars is bringing to the study of immigration in the American West. Often overlooked in general studies of immigration, the western United States has been and is an important destination for immigrants. The unique combination of ethnicities and races in the West, combined with political and economic peculiarities, has given the region an immigration narrative that departs significantly from that of the East and Midwest. This volume explores facets of this narrative with case studies that reveal how immigration in the American West has influenced the region’s development culturally, economically, socially, and politically. Contributors offer historical narrative and theory to illuminate factors that have galvanized immigration and the ways that agency, cultural resources, institutions, and societal attitudes have shaped immigrant experiences. With chapters written by scholars from multiple fields, the book’s interdisciplinary framework will make it of interest to readers from a variety of backgrounds.
A long sequence of social, cultural, and political processes characterizes an ever-dynamic Caribbean history. The Caribbean Basin is home to numerous linguistic and cultural traditions and fluid interactions that often map imperfectly onto former colonial and national traditions. Although much of this contact occurred within the confines of local cultural communities, regions, or islands, they nevertheless also include exchanges between islands, and in some cases, with the surrounding continents. recent research in the pragmatics of seafaring and trade suggests that in many cases long-distance intercultural interactions are crucial elements in shaping the social and cultural dynamics of the local populations.
The contributors to Islands at the Crossroads include scholars from the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe who look beyond cultural boundaries and colonial frontiers to explore the complex and layered ways in which both distant and more intimate sociocultural, political, and economic interactions have shaped Caribbean societies from seven thousand years ago to recent times.
Douglas V. Armstrong / Mary Jane Berman / Arie Boomert / Alistair J. Bright / Richard T. Callaghan / L. Antonio Curet / Mark W. Hauser / Corinne L. Hofman / Menno L. P. Hoogland / Kenneth G. Kelly / Sebastiaan Knippenberg / Ingrid Newquist / Isabel C. Rivera-Collazo / Reniel Rodríquez Ramos / Alice V. M. Samson / Peter E. Siegel / Christian Williamson
This major contribution to contact period studies points to the Lasley Vore site in modern Oklahoma as the most likely first meeting place of Plains Indians and Europeans more than 300 years ago.
In 1718, Jean-Baptiste Bénard, Sieur de la Harpe, departed St. Malo in Brittany for the New World. La Harpe, a member of the French bourgeoisie, arrived at Dauphin Island on the Gulf coast to take up the entrepreneurial concession provided by the director of the French colony, Jean Baptiste LeMoyne de Bienville. La Harpe's charge was to open a trading post on the Red River just above a Caddoan village not far from present-day Texarkana. Following the establishment of this post, La Harpe ventured farther north to extend his trade market into the region occupied by the Wichita Indians. Here he encountered a Tawakoni village with an estimated 6,000 inhabitants, a number that swelled to 7,000 during the ten-day visit.
Despite years of ethnohistoric and archaeological research, no scholar had successfully established where this important meeting took place. Then in 1988, George Odell and his crew surveyed and excavated an area 13 miles south of Tulsa, along the Arkansas River, that revealed undeniable association of Native American habitation refuse with 18th-century European trade goods.
Odell here presents a full account of the presumed location of the Tawakoni village as revealed through the analysis of excavated materials from nine specialist collaborators. In a strikingly well-written narrative report, employing careful study and innovative analysis supported by appendixes containing the excavation data, Odell combines documentary history and archaeological evidence to pinpoint the probable site of the first European contact with North American Plains Indians.
Presenting incisive original readings of French writing about the Caribbean from the inception of colonization in the 1640s until the onset of the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s, Doris Garraway sheds new light on a significant chapter in French colonial history. At the same time, she makes a pathbreaking contribution to the study of the cultural contact, creolization, and social transformation that resulted in one of the most profitable yet brutal slave societies in history. Garraway’s readings highlight how French colonial writers characterized the Caribbean as a space of spiritual, social, and moral depravity. While tracing this critique in colonial accounts of Island Carib cultures, piracy, spirit beliefs, slavery, miscegenation, and incest, Garraway develops a theory of “the libertine colony.” She argues that desire and sexuality were fundamental to practices of domination, laws of exclusion, and constructions of race in the slave societies of the colonial French Caribbean.
Among the texts Garraway analyzes are missionary histories by Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre, Raymond Breton, and Jean-Baptiste Labat; narratives of adventure and transgression written by pirates and others outside the official civil and religious power structures; travel accounts; treatises on slavery and colonial administration in Saint-Domingue; the first colonial novel written in French; and the earliest linguistic description of the native Carib language. Garraway also analyzes legislation—including the Code noir—that codified slavery and other racialized power relations. The Libertine Colony is both a rich cultural history of creolization as revealed in Francophone colonial literature and an important contribution to theoretical arguments about how literary critics and historians should approach colonial discourse and cultural representations of slave societies.
In the South, colonialism threw together three peoples who each played important roles in the creation of a new kind of society. Making an Atlantic World explores how Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans understood the landscapes they inhabited and how, after contact, their views of the world had to accommodate and then accept the presence of the others.
Based on the notion of “founding peoples” rather than “founding fathers,” Making an Atlantic World uses an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to interpret the Colonial South. James Taylor Carson uses historical ethnogeography-a new methodology that brings together the study of history, anthropology, and geography. This method seeks to incorporate concepts of space and landscape with social perspectives to give students and scholars a better understanding of the forces that shaped the development of a synthesized southern culture.
Unlike previous studies, which considered colonization as a contest over land but rarely considered what the land was and how people understood their relationships to it, Making an Atlantic World shows how the founding peoples perceived their world before contact and how they responded to contact and colonization.
The author contends that each of the three groups involved-the first people, the invading people, and the enslaved people-possessed a particular worldview that they had to adapt to each other to face the challenges brought about by contact.
James Taylor Carson is associate professor of history at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of <i>Searching for the Bright Path: The Mississippi Choctaws from Prehistory to Removal</i>. His articles and reviews have appeared in <i>Ethnohistory, Journal of Mississippi History, Agricultural History, Journal of Military History</i>, and other publications.
In Monsters and Revolutionaries Françoise Vergès analyzes the complex relationship between the colonizer and colonized on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion. Through novels, iconography, and texts from various disciplines including law, medicine, and psychology, Vergès constructs a political and cultural history of the island’s relations with France. Woven throughout is Vergès’s own family history, which is intimately tied to the history of Réunion itself. Originally settled by sugar plantation owners and their Indian and African slaves following a seventeenth-century French colonial decree, Réunion abolished slavery in 1848. Because plantation owners continued to import workers from India, Africa, Asia, and Madagascar, the island was defined as a place based on mixed heritages, or métissage. Vergès reads the relationship between France and the residents of Réunion as a family romance: France is the seemingly protective mother, La Mère-Patrie, while the people of Réunion are seen and see themselves as France’s children. Arguing that the central dynamic in the colonial family romance is that of debt and dependence, Verges explains how the republican ideals of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment are seen as gifts to Réunion that can never be repaid. This dynamic is complicated by the presence of métissage, a source of anxiety to the colonizer in its refutation of the “purity” of racial bloodlines. For Vergès, the island’s history of slavery is the key to understanding métissage, the politics of assimilation, constructions of masculinity, and emancipatory discourses on Réunion.
This is a book about the politics of competing cultures and myths in a colonized nation. Elizabeth Buck considers the transformation of Hawaiian culture focusing on the indigenous population rather than on the colonizers. She describes how Hawaii's established religious, social, political, and economic relationships have changed in the past 200 years as a result of Western imperialism. Her account is particularly timely in light of the current Hawaiian demands for sovereignty 100 years after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.
Buck examines the social transformation Hawaii from a complex hierarchical, oral society to an American state dominated by corporate tourism and its myths of paradise. She pays particular attention to the ways contemporary Hawaiians are challenging the use of their traditions as the basis for exoticized entertainment.
Buck demonstrates that sacred chants and hula were an integral part of Hawaiian social life; as the repository of the people's historical memory, chants and hula practices played a vital role in maintaining the links between religious, political, and economic relationships. Tracing the ways in which Hawaiian culture has been variously suppressed and constructed by Western explorers, New England missionaries, the tourist industry, ethnomusicologists, and contemporary Hawaiians, Buck offers a fascinating "rereading" of Hawaiian history.
The Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona is a peer-reviewed monograph series sponsored by the School of Anthropology. Established in 1959, the series publishes archaeological and ethnographic papers that use contemporary method and theory to investigate problems of anthropological importance in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and related areas.
Recent global security threats, economic instability, and political uncertainty have placed great scrutiny on the requirements for U.S. citizenship. The stipulation of literacy has long been one of these criteria. In Producing Good Citizens, Amy J. Wan examines the historic roots of this phenomenon, looking specifically to the period just before World War I, up until the Great Depression. During this time, the United States witnessed a similar anxiety over the influx of immigrants, economic uncertainty, and global political tensions.
Early on, educators bore the brunt of literacy training, while also being charged with producing the right kind of citizens by imparting civic responsibility and a moral code for the workplace and society. Literacy quickly became the credential to gain legal, economic, and cultural status. In her study, Wan defines three distinct pedagogical spaces for literacy training during the 1910s and 1920s: Americanization and citizenship programs sponsored by the federal government, union-sponsored programs, and first year university writing programs. Wan also demonstrates how each literacy program had its own motivation: the federal government desired productive citizens, unions needed educated members to fight for labor reform, and university educators looked to aid social mobility.
Citing numerous literacy theorists, Wan analyzes the correlation of reading and writing skills to larger currents within American society. She shows how early literacy training coincided with the demand for laborers during the rise of mass manufacturing, while also providing an avenue to economic opportunity for immigrants. This fostered a rhetorical link between citizenship, productivity, and patriotism. Wan supplements her analysis with an examination of citizen training books, labor newspapers, factory manuals, policy documents, public deliberations on citizenship and literacy, and other materials from the period to reveal the goal and rationale behind each program.
Wan relates the enduring bond of literacy and citizenship to current times, by demonstrating the use of literacy to mitigate economic inequality, and its lasting value to a productivity-based society. Today, as in the past, educators continue to serve as an integral part of the literacy training and citizen-making process.
The Sons of Remus
Andrew C. Johnston Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DG87.J64 2017 | Dewey Decimal 936.03
Histories of Rome emphasize the ways the empire assimilated conquered societies, bringing civilization to “barbarians.” Yet these interpretations leave us with an incomplete understanding of the diverse cultures that flourished in the provinces. Andrew C. Johnston recaptures the identities, memories, and discourses of these variegated societies.
Interactions between societies are among the most powerful forces in human history. However, because they are difficult to reconstruct from archaeological data, they have often been overlooked and understudied by archaeologists. This is particularly true for hunter-gatherer societies, which are frequently seen as adapting to local conditions rather than developing in the context of large-scale networks. When Worlds Collide presents a new model for discerning interaction networks based on the archaeological record, and then applies the model to long-term change in an Arctic society.
Max Friesen has adapted and expanded world-system theory in order to develop a model that explains how hunter-gatherer interaction networks, or world-systems, are structured—and why they change. He has utilized this model to better understand the development of Inuvialuit society in the western Canadian Arctic over a 500-year span, from the pre-contact period to the early twentieth century.
As Friesen combines local archaeological data with more extensive ethnographic and archaeological evidence from the surrounding region, a picture emerges of a dynamic Inuvialuit world-system characterized by bounded territories, trade, warfare, and other forms of interaction. This world-system gradually intensified as the impacts of Euroamerican colonial activities increased. This intensification, Friesen suggests, was based on pre-existing Inuvialuit social and economic structures rather than on patterns imposed from outside. Ultimately, this intense interacting network collapsed near the end of the nineteenth century. When Worlds Collide offers a new way to comprehend small-scale world-systems from the point of view of indigenous people. Its approach will prove valuable for understanding hunter-gatherer societies around the globe.