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Kelly Wisecup
University of North Texas (Denton, TX 76203-5017)
Objects of Encounter: Native Americans' Lists, 1600-1848

Summer research and writing in American Literature and Native American Studies.

Objects of Encounter investigates how Native Americans appropriated the form of the list between 1600 and 1840. Natives compiled lists of words, numbers, plants, and trade goods, in order to circulate tribal histories, to repair social and spiritual relationships disrupted by colonialism, and to maintain sovereignty over their languages and epistemologies. While scholars have overlooked lists to focus on narratives, this book shows that lists were a key part of early American cross-cultural exchanges. Natives shaped colonists' lists by controlling their access to objects; they composed their own lists in order to recirculate their peoples' histories. The book offers a new literary history of pre-1900 Native writing, and my proposed research will intervene in the history of science and museum studies by showing that Natives not only worked as assistants for men of science but also appropriated collecting and its textual practices for their own ends.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature; Native American Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 6/30/2015