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'Walking the Walk/Talking the Talk': On Survivance, Spatial Narrative and the National Museum of the American Indian

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Published in Porter, J. Place and native American Indian history and culture: Peter Lang. 2007
Abstract In this paper I want to address the issue of point of view, in the context of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) as a Native place that stages itself as the location of a cross-cultural encounter. It seems to me that some of the controversies that have surrounded the National Museum of the American Indian can be approached constructively through the concept of narrative. The spatial placing of the visitor within the museum space, and the shaping of the visitor’s possibilities for movement within the museum displays, enacts a linear narrative that corresponds to the telling of a history. It is precisely the telling of historical narratives that the National Museum of the American Indian deliberately places into question – to the considerable discomfort of some visitors. I begin by outlining the mission or intention of the museum designers and curators before describing briefly the objections that have been made to this conception of what this particular museum should be. I want then to suggest some ways in which we can approach this controversy narratologically, and to think about what the National Museum of the American Indian tells us about contemporary approaches to the study of American Indian cultures.
Keywords National Museum of the American IndianNative American culturesMuseologySpatial narrativeSurvivance
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ISBN: 9783039110490
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MADSEN, Deborah Lea. 'Walking the Walk/Talking the Talk': On Survivance, Spatial Narrative and the National Museum of the American Indian. In: Porter, J. (Ed.). Place and native American Indian history and culture. [s.l.] : Peter Lang, 2007. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:87779

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Deposited on : 2016-09-27

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