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Inaugural Dartmouth Authors Book Talk by Prof. Colin Calloway

The Dartmouth College Library recently expanded its Dartmouth Authors Book Display program to include brief talks or blog postings by featured authors.

Prof. Calloway discusses his book Ledger Narratives: The Plains Indian Drawings of the Lansburgh Collection at Dartmouth College
Prof. Calloway discusses his book Ledger Narratives: The Plains Indian Drawings of the Lansburgh Collection at Dartmouth College

Colin Calloway (History & Native American Studies) has two books currently on display in Baker-Berry Library’s King Arthur Flour Café:   Pen and Ink Witchcraft: Treaties and Treaty Making in American Indian History (Oxford U. Press, 2013); and Ledger Narratives: The Plains Indian Drawings of the Lansburgh Collection at Dartmouth College (U. of Oklahoma Press, 2012).  He gave the inaugural book talk on May 21st, discussing Ledger Narratives, which grew out of the Hood Museum of Art’s Fall 2010 exhibit of the Mark Lansburgh Collection of ledger drawings, and the concurrent Leslie Humanities Center Institute, "Multiple Narratives in Plains Indian Ledger Art."

Ledger art is associated primarily with Cheyenne, Kiowa, and other Plains peoples, first appearing in the mid-late 19th century.  As contact between Native communities and American military, government agents, and traders increased, so did access to the accounting ledger books in which this art was drawn.  These drawings document – from a Native perspective – a time of tremendous and traumatic change for these communities.  A single drawing can tell a complex story, with footprints/animal tracks indicating travel and passage of time.  Many drawings depict battle scenes against both Native and non-Native enemies, with warriors often clearly identified by their regalia or associated glyphs.  Others depict daily life (hunting, courtship, social dances, etc.) or the encroachment of European American civilization and technologies.

Want to know more?

Join us for our next Dartmouth Authors book talk on Mon., June 24 at 4:00 pm.  Dr. Harvey Frommer (MALS) will speak on “Writing Baseball.” Mark your calendars!

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