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editors’ introduction Marie Mauzé, Michael E. Harkin, and Sergei Kan This volume represents the culmination of a several-year collaboration among many of the most prominent researchers in the field of Northwest Coast ethnology, centered around a conference held at the College de France in Paris in June 2000. Why organize such a conference and publish a volume at this point in the history of anthropology? Why, in particular, emphasize the connections among French, Canadian, and American anthropologies of this region? As for the first question, it appears that the time is ripe for such a reassessment and overview.This represents the first collaborative collection on Northwest Coast ethnology since 1966 (McFeat 1966) and arguably the only one to incorporate a wide range of perspectives. Previous collections have explored specific cultural and linguistic groups (Arima et al. 1991; Hoover 2000; Seguin 1984). Festschriften for Wilson Duff (Abbot 1981), Viola Garfield (Miller and Eastman 1984), and Douglas Cole (Wickwire 2000) have explored closely related sets of themes, generally within the context of Canadian anthropology. In 1974 a special session of the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association was devoted to continuity and change in Northwest Coast ceremonialism (Blackman 1977), and in May of 1976 Mary Lee Stearns organized a large conference at Simon Fraser University, with some of the same goals as our own Paris conference. Five years later John W. Adams (1981) produced an annotated bibliography. Finally, in 1990, after a considerable delay, the Northwest Coast volume of the Handbook of North American Indians came out (Suttles 1990). The contrast with the present work is due to several factors. Conditions in the field and in the academy have changed enormously since 1966 and considerably since 1976. Our foci are no longerart, myth, ritual, kinship, and ecology, and the circumstances of our fieldwork and our collaboration with native colleagues, consultants, and communities is considerably less onesided . Northwest Coast studies, along with the rest of the human sciences, Tseng 2004.8.9 07:12 7132 Mauze / COMING TO SHORE / sheet 11 of 548 have incorporated postmodernist, feminist, indigenist, and other critiques, and as a result many scholars in this field have abandoned the certainty of perspectives such as cultural ecology, historical particularism, configurationism , Marxism, and structuralism, which characterized Northwest Coast ethnology in its ‘‘modern’’ phase. Moreover, the political climate of ‘‘the field’’ has been transformed by great historical events, such as the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, the Boldt decision of 1974, the Supreme Court of Canada’s Delgamuukw decision in 1997, and the Nisga’a settlement of 1999. Increasingly, as several of the chapters point out, anthropologists, involved in close collaboration with native people, are working in a variety of capacities to further the aims of specific native communities. Research that was once designed primarily or exclusively for an academic audience is now read, and read carefully, by the native communities themselves, with an eye toward the way it treats issues such as intellectual property and the implications it may have for political and legal struggles. The old divisions between ‘‘pure’’ and ‘‘applied’’ research no longer hold, since almost any type of ethnographic or ethnohistorical information may wind up as evidence in a courtroom or ammunition in a political debate. The location of the conference in Paris and the participation of several French scholars (some, such as Gérard Lenclud, François Hartog, and Maurice Godelier, presented papers at the conference that are not included in this volume) are notable, not only for the fact that one thinks of the Northwest Coast as a locus classicus of ‘‘Americanist’’ anthropology, but because it is viewed in some quarters as outside the swim of contemporary theoretical innovation and of little interest beyond the region. The Paris conference was organized by the three editors, with Marie Mauzé as the chief organizer. Her idea to host the conference was initially spurred by Claude Lévi-Strauss’s 90th birthday (as it turns out, the year before the conference took place). In 1970 Pierre Maranda and Jean Pouillon had edited a festschrift in honor of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s 60th birthday; the 2000 conference was in some ways inspired by that publication (Pouillon and Maranda 1970). Propitiously the conference coincided with the temporary reunification of the two Nisga’a stone masks at the new Louvre gallery, Pavillon des Sessions, reminding the participants of the important French role in collecting and appreciating, as major world art, Northwest Coast...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780803204324
MARC Record
OCLC
57447374
Pages
508
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-11
Language
English
Open Access
N
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