Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence


Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence

Native Ghosts in North American Culture and History

Edited and with an introduction by Colleen E. Boyd and Coll Thrush

360 pages
3 illustrations, 1 table


June 2011


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2011


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The imagined ghosts of Native Americans have been an important element of colonial fantasy in North America ever since European settlements were established in the seventeenth century. Native burial grounds and Native ghosts have long played a role in both regional and local folklore and in the national literature of the United States and Canada, as settlers struggled to create a new identity for themselves that melded their European heritage with their new, North American frontier surroundings. In this interdisciplinary volume, Colleen E. Boyd and Coll Thrush bring together scholars from a variety of fields to discuss this North American fascination with “the phantom Native American.” 
Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence explores the importance of ancestral spirits and historic places in Indigenous and settler communities as they relate to territory and history—in particular cultural, political, social, historical, and environmental contexts. From examinations of how individuals reacted to historical cases of “hauntings,” to how Native phantoms have functioned in the literature of North Americans, to interdisciplinary studies of how such beliefs and narratives allowed European settlers and Indigenous people to make sense of the legacies of colonialism and conquest, these essays show how the past and the present are intertwined through these stories.

Author Bio

Colleen E. Boyd is an associate professor of anthropology at Ball State University. Her articles have appeared in Ethnohistory, Journal of Northwest Anthropology, and in edited volumes. Coll Thrush is an associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place.
Contributors: Colleen E. Boyd, Michelle Burnham, Victoria Freeman, Geneva M. Gano, C. Jill Grady, Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, Cynthia Landrum, Allan K. McDougall, Coll Thrush, Lisa Philips Valentine, and Adam John Waterman.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introduction: Bringing Ghosts to Ground
Colleen Boyd and Coll Thrush
Part I. Methodologies
1. Sherman Alexie's Indian Killer as Indigenous Gothic
Michelle Burnham
2. Violence on the Home Front in Robinson Jeffers' "Tamar"
Geneva M. Gano
3. Hauntings as Histories: Aboriginal Ghosts and the Urban Past in Seattle
Coll Thrush
Part II. Historical Encounters
4. The Anatomy of a Haunting: Black Hawk's Body and the Fabric of History
Adam John Waterman
5. The Baldoon Mysterys
Lisa Philips and Allan K. McDougall
6. Haunting Remains: Educating a New American Citizenry at Indian Hill Cemetery
Sarah Schneider Kavanagh
Part III. The Past in the Present
7. "We Are Standing in My Ancestor's Longhouse": Learning the Language of Spirits and Ghosts
Colleen E. Boyd
8. Indigenous Hauntings in Settler-Colonial Spaces: The Activism of Indigenous Ancestors in the City of Toronto
Victoria Freeman
9. Shape-shifters, Ghosts, and Residual Power: An Examination of Northern Plains Spiritual Beliefs, Locations, Objects, and Spiritual Colonialism
Cynthia Landrum
10. Ancestors, Ethnohistorical Practice, and the Authentication of Native Place and Past
C. Jill Grady
List of Contributors

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