Before the Border: Indigenous Geographies of North America

Adams Rachel

in Continental Divides

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226005515
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226005539 | DOI:
Before the Border: Indigenous Geographies of North America

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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A map of North America covers the ground in Mohawk artist Shelley Niro's 1996 installation The Border. The transnational perspectives offered by Chicano/a border studies have much to contribute to the study of North American Indian history and culture. This chapter taps into histories of North America's borderlands that are often overlooked in the emphasis on Mexican–Anglo cultures along the U.S.–Mexico border. In the process, it relies on cultural geographies that exceed the boundaries of the nation-state, geographies defined not by the borders of the United States, Canada, or Mexico, but by the routes and roots established by people who inhabited the land long before the first European arrivals, and whose lifeways were profoundly reconfigured by the conquest.

Keywords: North America; borderlands; cultural geographies; routes; inhabited; history

Chapter.  12938 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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