Over the last several decades, performance scholars have done an excellent job of documenting and theorizing the long US fascination with “playing Indian,” from the Boston Tea Party to the Western film. With Staging Indigeneity, author Katrina M. Phillips (enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) highlights a genre that for the most part has been left out of that conversation: historical pageants and outdoor dramas. Phillips painstakingly completes that neglected part of the picture, but the wider significance of her study lies in the theorizations she develops to explicate her subject. Phillips advances the idea of “salvage tourism,” a portmanteau of “salvage ethnography” (the project of early white anthropologists to record what they perceived as “disappearing” Native lifeways), and “heritage tourism” (recreational activities that trade in nostalgia for the past). For Phillips, the particular blend of ideologies and activities that characterize salvage tourism arose...
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Book Review| May 01 2022
Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History
Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History. Katrina M. Phillips.
University of North Carolina Press,
2021. Pp. 246. ISBN 978-1469662312. $29.95 (Paper).
Texas Tech University
ANDREW GIBB is an associate professor of history, theory, and criticism in the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University, and is the author of Californios, Anglos, and the Performance of Oligarchy in the U.S West (Southern Illinois UP, 2018).
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Ecumenica (2022) 15 (1): 105–107.
Andrew Gibb; Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History. Ecumenica 1 May 2022; 15 (1): 105–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/ecumenica.15.1.0105
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