Re-Collecting Black Hawk: Landscape, Memory, and Power in the American Midwest

Re-Collecting Black Hawk: Landscape, Memory, and Power in the American Midwest

by Nicholas A. Brown, Sarah E. Kanouse


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The name Black Hawk permeates the built environment in the upper midwestern United States. It has been appropriated for everything from fitness clubs to used car dealerships. Makataimeshekiakiak, the Sauk Indian war leader whose name loosely translates to “Black Hawk,” surrendered in 1832 after hundreds of his fellow tribal members were slaughtered at the Bad Axe Massacre.
Re-Collecting Black Hawk examines the phenomena of this appropriation in the physical landscape, and the deeply rooted sentiments it evokes among Native Americans and descendants of European settlers. Nearly 170 original photographs are presented and juxtaposed with texts that reveal and complicate the significance of the imagery. Contributors include  tribal officials, scholars, activists, and others including George Thurman, the principal chief of the Sac and Fox Nation and a direct descendant of Black Hawk. These image-text encounters offer visions of both the past and present and the shaping of memory through landscapes that reach beyond their material presence into spaces of cultural and political power. As we witness, the evocation of Black Hawk serves as a painful reminder, a forced deference, and a veiled attempt to wipe away the guilt of past atrocities. Re-Collecting Black Hawk also points toward the future. By simultaneously unsettling and reconstructing the midwestern landscape, it envisions new modes of peaceful and just coexistence and suggests alternative ways of inhabiting the landscape.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822944379
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 05/22/2015
Edition description: 1
Pages: 294
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Nicholas A. Brown is a visiting assistant professor in the American Indian and Native Studies program at the University of Iowa.

Sarah E. Kanouse is an associate professor in the School of Art and Art history at the University of Iowa.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Nicholas A. Brown Sarah E. Kanouse 1

Chapter 1 We Are Still Here to Tell Their Stories and to Add Our Own George Thurman 19

Chapter 2 Iowa 23

Chapter 3 They Don't Even Want Our Bones: An Interview with Johnathan Buffalo Nicholas A. Brown 65

Chapter 4 Wisconsin 73

Chapter 5 Even Though He Had a Native Person Standing in Front of Him. He Just Did Not See Me: An Interview with Sandra Massey Sarah E. Kanouse 143

Chapter 6 Illinois 151

Chapter 7 We Have More Important Work to Do within Ourselves First: An Interview with Yolanda Pushetonequa Sarah E. Kanouse 209

Chapter 8 Makataimeshekiakiak, Settler Colonialism, and the Specter of Indigenous Liberation Dylan A. T. Miner (Michif) 219

Coda Minnesota's Sesqui centennials and Dakota People: Remembering Oppression and Invoking Resistance Waziyatawin 237

Notes 249

Bibliography 257

Contributors 269

Image Credits 271

Index 273

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