Border Crossings


Border Crossings

Transnational Americanist Anthropology

Edited and with an introduction by Kathleen S. Fine-Dare and Steven L. Rubenstein

404 pages
4 figures


May 2009


$35.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2009


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

For anthropologists and social scientists working in North and South America, the past few decades have brought considerable change as issues such as repatriation, cultural jurisdiction, and revitalization movements have swept across the hemisphere. Today scholars are rethinking both how and why they study culture as they gain a new appreciation for the impact they have on the people they study. Key to this reassessment of the social sciences is a rethinking of the concept of borders: not only between cultures and nations but between disciplines such as archaeology and cultural anthropology, between past and present, and between anthropologists and indigenous peoples.

Border Crossings is a collection of fourteen essays about the evolving focus and perspective of anthropologists and the anthropology of North and South America over the past two decades. For a growing number of researchers, the realities of working in the Americas have changed the distinctions between being a “Latin,” “North,” or “Native” Americanist as these researchers turn their interests and expertise simultaneously homeward and out across the globe.

Author Bio

Kathleen S. Fine-Dare is a professor of anthropology and gender/women’s studies and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She is the author of Grave Injustice: The American Indian Repatriation Movement and NAGPRA (Nebraska 2002). Steven L. Rubenstein (1962-2012) was the director of the Research Institute of Latin American Studies and a reader in Latin American anthropology in the School of Cultures, Languages, and Area Studies at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of Alejandro Tsakimp: A Shuar Healer in the Margins of History (Nebraska 2002).
Contributors: Barbara Burton, Les W. Field, Kathleen S. Fine-Dare, Sarah Gammage, Lêda Leitão Martins, Peter McCormick, John M. Norvell, David L. Nugent, Steven L. Rubenstein, Enrique Salmón, Jean N. Scandlyn, Linda J. Seligmann, and James A. Zeidler



"The essays in Border Crossings provide valuable insights into some of the greatest challenges faced by contemporary Americanist anthropologists. It is certain to stimulate conversations among professional anthroplogists and graduate students going to/from the field."—Robert V. Kemper, Journal of Anthropological Research

"In this interesting volume Fine-Dare and Rubinstein have assembled a collection of articles on indigeneity that critically examine how and by whom borders, especially the borders of anthropology’s traditional area-studies approach, are created, crossed, challenged, and built anew in the Americas." —Frances Rothstein, Anthropos

"Rather than privileging one side of the pendulum, this collection of essays combines reflexivity and practicality, constructivism and positivism, macro and local scales of analysis. The reader is given a new appreciation for not only the mission of Americanist anthropology, but also the tremendous potential and critical importance of embracing a genuine transnational approach to the Americas."—Kathleen Pickering Sherman, Museum Anthropology

Table of Contents


Introduction: Toward a Transnational Americanist Anthropology

      Kathleen S. Fine-Dare and Steven L. Rubenstein

Part 1. A New Compass for Americanist Studies

1. Racing across Borders in the Americas: Anthropological Critique and the Challenge of Transnational Racial Identities

      John M. Norvell

2. The Politics of Knowledge and Identity and the Poetics of Political Economy: The Truth Value of Dividing Bridges

      Linda J. Seligmann

3. Reinventing Archaeological Heritage: Critical Science in a North/South Perspective

      James A. Zeidler

Part 2. Transamerican Case Studies

4. Bodies Unburied, Mummies Displayed: Mourning, Museums, and Identity Politics in the Americas

      Kathleen S. Fine-Dare

5. Crossing Boundaries with Shrunken Heads

      Steven L. Rubenstein

6. Local Conflict, Global Forces: Fighting for Public Education in a New York Suburb

      Jean N. Scandlyn

7. El Envío: Remittances, Rights, and Associations among Central American Immigrants in Greater Washington DC

      Barbara Burton and Sarah Gammage

8. Global Indigenous Movements: Convergence and Differentiation in the Face of the Twenty-First-Century State

      Les W. Field

9. What Can Americanists and Anthropology Learn from the Alliances between Indigenous Peoples and Popular Movements in the Amazon?

      Lêda Leitão Martins

Part 3. Americanist Reflections

10. "That's Your Hopi Uncle": Ethical Borders in the Field

      Enrique Salmón

11. The Dust Bowl Tango: Looking at South America from the Southern Plains

      Peter McCormick

12. The Lizard's Dream

      Steven L. Rubenstein and Kathleen S. Fine-Dare

Afterword: Fordism, Post-Fordism, and Americanist Anthropology

      David L. Nugent



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