Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Artful Literacies: Transculturation and Resistance in the Ledger Drawings of Nineteenth-Century Plains Indian Prisoners at Fort Marion
by Updike, Ann Sutton, M.A., Miami University, 2005, 121; 10817963
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the intersection of literacy, identity, and power within the nineteenth-century contact zone of Fort Marion, Florida, where from 1875-1878, a group of Plains Indian warriors underwent a compulsory assimilation program while being held as prisoners-of-war. The thesis begins by proposing a broader view of literacy that includes non-alphabetic forms and argues that pictographic ledger art was a literacy practice deeply integrated within Plains Indian warrior society. The thesis then argues that, within the Fort Marion site, several warriors transformed their centuries-old pictographic literacy practice into cultural autoethnographic texts to intervene in dominant modes of understanding. By negotiating this literary middle space, the prisoners were able to write themselves into the metropolitan discourse and mediate between the two cultures, providing alternatives to the dominant group's often negative, paternalistic, and hostile representations of Native Americans.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Young, Morris
School: Miami University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Art history, Native American studies
Keywords: Exploit robes, Fort marion, Ledger art, Literacy, Pictographs, Plains indians
Publication Number: 10817963
ISBN: 978-0-355-84512-9
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