Clearing a Path

Theorizing the Past in Native American Studies

By Nancy Shoemaker

© 2002 – Routledge

224 pages

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Paperback: 9780415926751
pub: 2001-10-12
Hardback: 9780415926744
pub: 2001-10-12
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Clearing a Path offers new models and ideas for exploring Native American history, drawing from disciplines like history, anthropology, and creative writing making this a must-read for anyone interested in the history of indigenous peoples.


"Writing in crystal-clear prose and refusing to submit to the obfuscations of previous scholars, she wonders how people use categories." -- Catherine A. Corman, Western Historical Quarterly

"The political economy section is a standout, with a fierce and funny essay by Patricia C. Albers and a spectacular piece by Jacki Thompson Rand. Rand's analysis of women's beadwork is nothing short of brilliant." -- Catherine A. Corman, Western Historical Quarterly

"Shoemaker provides a superb introduction in which she defines and defends theory." -- Catherine A. Corman, Western Historical Quarterly

"Graduate students preparing for general exams or professors trying to work up new courses will find these lists invaluable." -- Catherine A. Corman, Western Historical Quarterly

"Clearing a Path challenges readers to reexamine the common assumptions and seemingly self-evident truths that pervade Native American studies. . .these essays take creative approaches to questions both new and old. Clearing a Path will, without a doubt, provoke, unsettle, and inspire readers." -- Claudio Saunt, author of A New Order of Things: Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 1733-1816

"This masterful four-part anthology suggests theoretical methods for opening the way to deeper understandings of Native histories… This marvelous, stimulating, multivocal, multidimensional, and multidisciplinary collection is highly recommended for upper division undergraduates and graduate students in history, anthropology, and American studies." -- CHOICE, R.A. Bucko, Creighton University

"…the strength of Clearing a Path lies not in the answers that it provides but in the questions that it provokes…it represents an important contribution to the philosophical, intellectual, and political questions inherent in Native American studies. [The] title of Clearing a Path invokes a metaphor of diplomacy-the clearing away of obstacles to understanding and communication…to achieve a rapproachment between scholarly theory and meaningful studies of Native American history ou J."

"This is a collection of imaginative, complex, and insightful discussions of how we might do Native American history better." -- Journal of American History

"Historians and others who take these essays seriously will find them both stimulating and insightful. Less prescriptive than exemplary, these discussions of theory succeed in perhaps the best way by raising more questions than they seek to answer and they open new possibilities for interpretation without dictating the conclusions that Native American Studies should reach." -- Sterling Fluharty, University of Oklahoma

"This is a collection of imaginative, complex, and insightful discussions of how we might do Native American history better."

The Journal of American History

About the Author

Nancy Shoemaker, Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, is the editor of Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women and the author of American Indian Population Recovery in the Twentieth Century.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Native American