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RQ-230528-15
This Is Who We Are: Letters of the Dakota,1838-1878
Gwen Westerman, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=RQ-230528-15

Letters from the Dakota, 1838-1878 (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Letters from the Dakota, 1838-1878
Author: Gwen N. Westerman
Author: Glenn M. Wasicuna
Abstract: "Letters from the Dakota, 1838-1878" describes the English translation of first-person narratives of those Dakota people writing in their own language during the mid-nineteenth century. The time period selected for this project encompasses the years of most drastic change for Dakota people--treaty negotiations, land loss, war, imprisonment, exile, and the beginnings of recovery. These letters provide insights into the daily lives of prominent and ordinary Dakota people, their relationships with the federal government, and their attempts to negotiate rapid changes brought on by farming, Christianity, and settlers who overran their lands. This presentation begins with a short general introduction that provides historical and interpretive information including explanations of events and historical figures relevant to an understanding of the importance of the letters and how they came to be written. The process of translating these letters and researching the historical context is described to demonstrate their significance in preserving the Dakota language, both historically and in the present day, as well as highlighting the cultural practices surrounding the translations and translators over time.
Date: 10/15/2016
Primary URL: https://www.amphilsoc.org/conference/translatingconference/papers
Primary URL Description: Main conference paper site for Translating Across Time and Space: Endangered Languages, Cultural Revitalization, and the Work of History.
Secondary URL: https://www.amphilsoc.org/cnair/conference-translating-time-space
Secondary URL Description: Call for papers for APS conference Translating Across Time and Space: Endangered Languages, Cultural Revitalization, and the Work of History.
Conference Name: American Philosophical Society Translating Across Time and Space: Endangered Languages, Cultural Revitalization, and the Work of History

From Gallows to Prison: Letters from the Dakota, 1862-1865 (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: From Gallows to Prison: Letters from the Dakota, 1862-1865
Author: Gwen N. Westerman
Abstract: "From Gallows to Prison: Letters from the Dakota, 1862-1865” describes the English translation of first-person narratives of those Dakota people writing in their own language during the mid-nineteenth century. The time period selected for this presentation encompasses the years of most drastic change for Dakota people—treaty negotiations, land loss, war, imprisonment, and exile. As such, the voices represented in these letters have been silent for 130 to 175 years. These letters provide insights into the lives of prominent and ordinary Dakota people held in prison in Minnesota and Iowa after the war with the United States in 1862, their opinions about their relationships with the federal government, and their attempts to negotiate the rapid changes brought on by war, imprisonment, and exile. A Dakota perspective—observations of the world written in their own words in their own language—will challenge accepted representations of their issues and concerns as written by missionaries and historians. This presentation begins with a short general introduction that provides historical and interpretive information including explanations of events and historical figures relevant to an understanding of the importance of the letters and how they came to be written. The process of translating these letters and researching the historical context will be described in order to demonstrate their importance in preserving the Dakota language, both historically and in the present day, as well as highlighting the impact of prison conditions on the context of their letters.
Date: 1/5/2017
Primary URL: https://apps.mla.org/conv_listings_detail?prog_id=28&year=2017
Primary URL Description: Session description for panel presentation Writing (against) the Prison sponsored by the Forum Transdisciplinary Connections (TC) Race & Ethnicity Studies
Secondary URL: https://www.mla.org/Convention/MLA-2017
Secondary URL Description: Main website for the Modern Language Association Convention
Conference Name: Modern Language Association Convention


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