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75 and from classes. He moved out of his office to write at home, and until he moved back to Harvard, he only engaged with Mary the Secretary. For the next two years, a secret cell of the department schemed and created stories about their chair. Young had never married and did not attend one of their churches, so they spread the word that she was an atheist lesbian. Because Roxanne was not married, they suggested that the atheist lesbian had had an affair with her. Furious, Young lost her temper one afternoon and composed a memo to her adversaries. She made the mistake of referring to them as “jealous, bratty children,” and that, more than anything else, was her undoing. The old guard’s strategy had finally gotten to Young’s emotions . Young found herself demoted to a faculty position. “Rox,” said Tone a week after the confrontation at the faculty retreat, “let’s get something clear. This is a department with people who have to find some way of rationalizing why you have what they don’t. Looks, talent, health, and a hell of a lot of potential.” “You think?” Tone looked at Roxanne’s Byzantine face framed by waist-­ length black hair. She blinked long black lashes and shifted her weight from one slim leg to the other. Inside her head were enviable brains that worked overtime. She had seriously bucked teeth, but the overbite added to her appeal. “Yeah. I do. Jealousy mixed with insecurity and anger makes a volatile combination. They’re not jealous of each other because they’re all the same. Some of these guys are like an army of vindictive, squirmy brained toads.” “Didn’t Jim Morrison say that? He was talking about a murderer.” Tony turned to get his mail. “Yes, ma’am. These creeps are capable of a lot of things.” Two years ago The stressful years slid past as Tony and Roxanne adjusted to their dysfunctional environment. Attending conferences got them away from CHU, 76 but into other taxing situations, such as the American Anthropological Association conference in Los Angeles. They arrived at LAX in time to make the AAA reception at the Museum of Natural History. The two Indians stayed close together, too intimidated by the sea of white faces to venture forth by themselves into the crowd. They ate several platefuls of barbecued shrimp, crab-­ stuffed mushrooms, and Malaysian coconut chicken curry, then called it a night around ten. One of the first sessions of the next day featured Barney Southcliffe, a cultural anthropologist who had devoted his career to deconstructing modern Indian identities. His goal was to prove to the descendents of “real Indians” that, because they watched television, drove cars, and lived in houses with chimneys, they were pathetic shadows of the authentic tribal entities who had lived in the misty past. Despite years of criticism by scholars both Indian and non-­Indian, Southcliffe persisted in asserting that “there are no Indians left.” His session drew a standing-­ room-­ only crowd, although few attendees agreed with him. Professors encouraged their students to witness the strange man, while older scholars attended for reasons of nostalgia. From where they sat in the hallway, unable to get inside, Roxanne and Tony heard Southcliffe answer a query about “authoritative voice.” “Keep in mind,” he said loudly, “that there are plenty of writers today who say they’re Indians, but in fact no real Indian would be formally educated. The session scheduled for tomorrow that says it features ‘Indian scholars’ is misleading and dangerous, for a real Indian would not have a degree.” “My God,” Roxanne said, shaking her head. Several white scholars stood at the door, snickering softly. As tempting as it was to argue with Southcliffe , neither Roxanne nor Tony had the stomach for a nauseating debate. “Let the white anthros argue with him,” said Roxanne. “It’s good for them.” No scheduled sessions the rest of the day interested them. None of them dealt with the myriad troubles faced by modern tribes—­ poverty, pollution , water, fishing, treaty rights, and loss of land. Most of the participants focused on pots and old baskets. Numerous opinions were expressed on burial mound structures and skeletal remains. Apparently, it was much easier to deal with dead people than with live ones. The cultural anthropologists were little better. With the exception of a 77 few who worked closely with tribes to gather information on AIDS, spousal abuse, and the effects of water...


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MARC Record
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