Object Lives and Global Histories in Northern North America explores how close, collaborative looking can discern the traces of contact, exchange, and movement of objects and give them a life and political power in complex cross-cultural histories. Red River coats, prints of colonial places and peoples, Indigenous-made dolls, and an Englishwoman's collection provide case studies of art and material culture that correct and give nuance to global and imperial histories. The result of a collaborative research process involving Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributors, this book looks closely at the circumstances of making, use, and circulation of these objects: things that supported and defined both Indigenous resistance and colonial and imperial purposes. Contributors re-envision the histories of northern North America by focusing on the lives of things flowing to and from this vast region between the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries, showing how material culture is a critical link that tied this diverse landscape to the wider world. An original perspective on the history of northern North American peoples grounded in things, Object Lives and Global Histories in Northern North America provides a key analytical and methodological lens that exposes the complexity of cultural encounters and connections between local and global communities.
"Object Lives and Global Histories in Northern North America demonstrates how objects can be related to such diverse themes as status, masculinity, imperial and diplomatic relations, craftsmanship, perseverance of Indigenous traditions, cultural hybridity, personal relationships and gift-giving, consumerism, ways of knowing, and health and healing. It is a sustained application of material culture theory to a diverse range of Indigenous material culture that keeps the objects front and centre." Michelle Hamilton, University of Western Ontario