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FEMINIST ANTHROPOLOGISTS and the CONSTRUCTION of the AMERICAN SOUTHWEST SCIEN TISTS & S T O R Y TELLERS “As First Wave feminists, feminist ethnographers emphasized women’s emancipation, meaning women’s rights to determine their own lives by seizing control of their bodies, labors, and identities. This emancipation might be broadly and variously defined, but usually emancipation included women’s control over their choices of spouse and the contours of their marriages, the rights to divorce, sexual expression, and motherhood, and social and political equality through self-reliance.” —from the Introduction History v Anthropology v Women’s Studies University of NEW MEXICO Press 1-800-249-7737 ËxHSKIMGy338686zv*:+:!:+:! isbn-13: 978-0-8263-3868-6 isbn-10: 0-8263-3868-2 CATHERINE J. LAVENDER is director of the American Studies Program and associate professor of history and women’s and gender studies at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. In the first decades of the twentieth century, the work produced by women anthropologists dominated scholarship about the Native American Southwest. Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing American culture, early anthropologists sought examples of cultures capable of coping successfully with diversity and complexity. Ethnographers believed that they had found such cultures in the Native American Southwest, and turned to these cultures to make sense of their own. For women anthropologists especially, living in a society where women’s roles and identities were hotly contested, Southwestern Indian cultures provided examples of more open possibilities for women. In Scientists and Storytellers, Catherine Lavender examines the work of a community of Columbia University-trained ethnographers—Elsie Clews Parsons, Ruth Benedict, Gladys Reichard, and Ruth Underhill—who represent four generations of feminist scholarship about the region. In their analysis of Indian gender, sexuality, and supposed “primitiveness,” these anthropologists created a feminist ethnography that emphasized women’s roles in Southwestern Indian cultures. In doing so, they provided examples of Indian women who functioned as leaders in their communities, as economic forces in their own right, as negotiators of cross-gendered identities, and as matriarchs in matrilineal societies—examples they intended as models for American feminism. SCIENTISTS & STORYTELLERS Lavender Jacket Photographs: (front) STATUE WITh CRoSSING ARmS.©Getty Images (back) ELSIE CLEWS PARSoNS,1930. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society, ms coll 29, Ser. viii. folder 8; RUTh BENEdICT. Special Collections, Vassar College Libraries; RUTh UNdERhILL. denver Public Library, Western history Collection, f-27211; GLAdYS REIChARd. Courtesy of museum of Northern Arizona Photo Archives, neg. 86.208 Jacket design: melissa Tandysh Elsie Clews Parsons Ruth Benedict Gladys Reichard Ruth Underhill Catherine J. Lavender Scientists and Storytellers ...


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