All too frequently, Native Americans have little control over how they and their ancestors are researched and depicted in scholarly writings. The relationship between Native peoples and the academic community has become especially rocky in recent years. Both groups are grappling with troubling questions about research ethics, methodology, and theory in the field and in the classroom.
In this timely and illuminating anthology, ten leading Native scholars examine the state of scholarly research and writing on Native Americans. They offer distinctive, frequently self-critical perspectives on several important issues: the representativeness of Native informants, the merits of various methods of data collection, the veracity and role of oral histories, the suitability of certain genres of scholarly writing for the study of Native Americans, the marketing of Native culture and history, and debates about cultural essentialism. Some contributors propose alternative forms of scholarship. Special attention is also given to the experiences, responsibilities, and challenges facing Native academics themselves.
With lively prose and telling arguments, Natives and Academics lends clarity to the heated debate about the purpose and direction of Native American scholarship.
1999 Critics' Choice Award, sponsored by the American Educational Studies Association, winner