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Phillip Round - “The Ho-Chunk Red Horn Cycle: Oral Tradition and the Material Text”

Date: Time: 3:30 pm–5:00 pm
Andrews Hall Room: Bailey Library
Additional Info: ANDR
Contact: Marco Abel,
Red Horn is just one among many names given to a mythic figure whose iconography appears on material objects across the Mississippian world—from the Ohio River Valley; south to Etowah, in present-day Georgia; and west to Cahokia along the Mississippi River and Spiro, in what is now Oklahoma. Connecting words and objects, from the twelfth to the twentieth century, this talk will argue for replacing older models of indigenous textual production—ones overly invested in alphabetic literacy as the site of cultural formation in Native communities—with media-based methodologies. These methodologies are capable simultaneously of analyzing together the many material forms that Native expression took and embracing the much broader span of time necessary to understanding the meanings—cultural, political, spiritual—of Native representations.

Phillip Round is John C. Gerber Professor of English at the University of Iowa. He is the author of REMOVABLE TYPE: HISTORIES OF THE BOOK IN INDIAN COUNTRY, 1663-1880, which won the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize in 2011. The recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, he has authored two other books, BY NATURE AND BY CUSTOM CURSED: TRANSATLANTIC CIVIL DISCOURSE AND NEW ENGLAND CULTURAL PRODUCTION, 1620-1660, which explores the discursive dimensions of England’s Great Migration to the new world; and THE IMPOSSIBLE LAND: STORY AND PLACE IN CALIFORNIA’S IMPERIAL VALLEY, focusing on the American southwest and how human beings use discourse to orient themselves to the land.

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