Thanks for this reading. I’ve got a minor quibble, and an addition. Minor quibble: the title is “In the Flesh in the Museum” – you’ve cited the subtitle. Not a big deal, but… We academics slave long and hard over our clever titles, it’s a shame to see them cast aside in favor of our more quotidien, post-colonial explanatory subtitles.
Addition: It’s interesting what happens when the power imbalance is taken out of the equation, as in American Indians’ own museums (not that there’s no power at work, but it’s not the kind of colonial power I’m talking about here). I am thinking in particular of a display at the Mashantuckett Pequod museum, where a whole floor is dedicated to a diorama of pre-Columbian Pequod life – but as you walk through the exhibit, it subtly changes to integrate the effect of colonization. More interesting here, though, is the next floor, which details the “rebirth” of the Mashantuckett Pequod, from which stands out for me the exhitition of one of the trailers that early returnees to the reservation lived in, back when they were trying to make a go at pig farming. The Pequod are definitely not portrayed as trapped in the past, as stone-age examplars – the last thing in the Museum before the exit is a giant poster of the entire Pequod nation (some couple hundred folks, incidentally of all colors), smiling at the camera, being Pequod.
Thanks for your additions! Might be a great a variation in self-presentation as indigenous people often reproduce “exotic” stereotypes, stressing their “otherness".
Concerning the title: That’s journalistic freedom
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