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3 6 2 W e s t e r n A m e r i c a n L i t e r a t u r e F a l l 2 0 0 6 Luck Tomorrow, and comic strips, such as “Secret Asian Man,” allow Asian Americans to transcend stereotypes and create a more realistic space for themselves in popular depiction. East Main Street creates its own relevance by touching on an abundance of cultural mediums and themes. Scholars of film, literature, the Internet, music, and history can all find essays in which to sink their teeth. More important, this book is a must-read for scholars of Asian American popular culture because it imagines the field in so many creative and complex ways. Individuality Incorporated: Indians and the Multicultural Modern. By Joel Pfister. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004- 340 pages, $84.95/$23.95. Reviewed by Linda Lizut H elstern North Dakota State University, Fargo In Individuality Incorporated: Indians and the Multicultural Modem, Joel Pfister claims as his subject the making of the individual self. It would be more accu­ rate to say that he is investigating the historical change in the popular ideology of individuality and how this change, the result both of Freud’s radically new insight into depth psychology and the shift from producer-oriented to consumer -oriented capitalism, was reflected in federal Indian policy. The Indians of Pfisters title are ideological constructs of the white imaginary, though his text seeks to resist such constructions at every turn. Divided into two discrete parts with no attempt to forge causal or chronological connection, Individuality Incorporated offers a new slant on two familiar stories: the story of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and its founder Col. Richard Henry Pratt and the story of high modernism in New Mexico, focusing on Mabel Dodge Luhan and John Collier. From Carlisle’s founding in 1879 until Pratt’s ouster as superintendent in 1904, the ideology of the self-made man dominated the school’s educational program. Racial uplift had no place here. Every barrier to advancement, whether institutional, racial, social, or economic, was re-encoded as an individ­ ual challenge. Pfister introduces Pratt’s rhetorical strategies and the ideological tools Pratt deployed in his effort to “workerize” Indians, including “before” and “after” photos taken of each student— ostensible testimony to the program’s success— and a succession of school newspapers that published student work alongside articles by the Carlisle staff and Washington bureaucrats. Always reading against the grain, Pfister suggests that Carlisle’s students often manipulated official ideology to their own ends, though not all of his examples are equally persuasive and many are drawn from the less rigidly assimilationist period after Pratt’s departure. Pfister expands this discussion to show how several Native intellectuals, including Charles Alexander Eastman and Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, strategically deployed in their critique of individu­ BOOK REVIEWS 3 6 3 ality the very techniques Pratt used to create it. It must be noted, however, that among them only Luther Standing Bear was educated at Carlisle. Importantly, Pfister tackles one of the most difficult questions associated with Pratt and his educational project: the loyalty he engendered in his Native students and associates. He suggests that the bond may have grown from a common enmity with the Indian Bureau. Mabel Dodge Luhan, already a convert to Freudian analysis when she moved to Taos in 1917, promoted Pueblo life as the ultimate antidote to the neurosis of contemporary life. The notables Luhan lured to New Mexico to share her discovery included D. H. Lawrence, who published two books on psychoanalysis in the early 1920s, and Collier, an immigrant activist who had promoted cultural pluralism as the fastest route to assimilation. Pfister glosses over the import of Collier’s subsequent successes in reshaping federal Indian policy, offering instead, through Lawrence, a critique of Luhan’s and Collier’s saviorist motives, as well as Collier’s paternalistic management style. For Pfister, Laughing Boy (1986) and The Surrounded (1978) stand as the ultimate modemist refutation of the Indian as ideological therapy for the white psyche. The Pastures of Beyond: An Old Cotvboy Looks Back at the Old West. By...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 362-363
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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