Material Culture and Memory. Sash, Mocassins and Beadwork as Media for the Construction and Articulation of Metisness (translation)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Christoph Laugs (IRTG Diversity)
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl
Using a combination of approaches and research perspectives from the fields of material history, critical museology, and Indigenous and Metis Studies, this dissertation examines the significance of Canadian Metis material culture in the production of collective and cultural memory. The dissertation argues that the cultural and material memory of the Métis "golden age" in the early 19th century provided an essential foundation for the resilience and renaissance of a Canadian ethnic group (people) whose existence and culture were systematically negated by Euro-Canadian politics and society after the establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and who were Europeanized through a policy of forced assimilation. The dissertation takes the significance of material culture as an identity marker as its starting point and reconstructs the emergence of the phenomenon of "metisness" on the basis of the analysis of "human-thing relationships." Three guiding questions contour the study: 1. How were and are sash, moccasins, and flower-shaped beadwork used as artifacts in the context of a Metis culture of memory?; 2. How was the materiality of Metis collective memory translated into images and narratives of Metisness?; and 3. How did Euro-Canadian museums exhibit Metis clothing and how does this exhibition practice relate to the Euro-Canadian conceptualization of mixedness and hybridity?
Laugs, Christoph (2020): Materielle Kultur und Erinnerung. Sash, Mokassins und Beadwork als Mittel der
Konstruktion und Artikulation von Metisness, Trier (Dissertationsmanuskript)