‘Indianism’ is a contemporary amateur practice, a form of living history with a history of its own and a following spread out over Europe. It involves dedicated study of Native American material cultures through mimesis: both in craftwork and in collective performances, Indianists use their bodies as exploratory tools to replicate gestures from the past and thus gain insights into Native American eighteenth- or nineteenth-century life. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork amongst Indianists in 2003-2005, I pay attention to the discursive side of this mimetic practice to highlight the importance of shared knowledge of materials and crafting techniques in making history come alive.
Dr. Petra Tjitske Kalshoven is Lecturer at the University of Manchester. After her M.A. Classical Languages and Cultures in Leiden and her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology in Montreal, she received a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. Her recent publication is “Piecing Together the Extinct Great Auk: Techniques and Charms of Contiguity”, published in May 2018.
The evening lecture is part of the international workshop "Let's Talk about History!" Public History through Face-to-face Communication.
Lecture: The role of discourse in a mimetic practice: performing history in European ‘Indianism'
Venue: Kampus Hybernská, Hybernská 4, Prague 1, Lecture Room 2D