The Ethnographic Imagination in American Literature, 1865-1920
In this work, Brad Evans weaves together the histories of American literature and anthropology. His study brings alive not only the regionalist and ethnographic fiction of the time but also revives a range of neglected materials, including the Zuni sketchbooks of anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing; popular magazines such as Century Illustrated Monthly, which published Cushing's articles alongside Henry James's; the debate between Joel Chandler Harris, author/collector of the Uncle Remus folktales, and John Wesley Powell, perhaps the most important American anthropologist of the time; and Du Bois's polemics against the culture concept as it was being developed in the early twentieth century.
Written with clarity and grace, Before Cultures will be of value to students of American literature, history, and anthropology alike.
Introduction: The Failed Genealogies of Culture
Cushing's Zuni Sketchbooks and American Notions of Culture
2. Circulating Culture
Reading the Harris-Powell Folklore Debate
3. The Object-Life of Books
Collecting Local Color
4. Howellsian Chic
The Local Color of Cosmopolitanism
5. The Ends of Culture
W. E. B. Du Bois and the Legacy of Boasian Anthropology