M. Eleanor Nevins
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Ansari Business, Room 510
Linguistic and Cultural Anthropology, media, intertextuality, religion and colonialism, senses of place, education and colonialism, indigeniety, language change, history of Anthropology, Athapaskan languages.
My ethnographic work emerges from living and studying with people who identify as White Mountain Apache on the Fort Apache reservation in Arizona. In broad terms I explore the role of textuality in the mediation of socio-cultural life in a community undergoing rapid social change. As an ethnographer, I investigated innovations in communicative practice, particularly ways that reservation residents drew upon local precedents and interpretive conventions in order to creatively engage with one another and with institutions linking them to encompassing socio-political orders. I have written about language maintenance programs in the schools, use of mass media in homes and neighborhoods, and the interplay of Traditionalism and Christianity. I draw attention to the crucial roles that local discourse genres and language ideologies play in ongoing processes of mediating social change. My book, currently in production with Blackwell Series in Discourse and Culture, develops a reflexive approach to the more general problem of understanding language documentation and maintenance programs as sites of encounter and dialogue in which notions of what it means to know an indigenous language are defined, contested and negotiated. Other ongoing work extends the project of dialogic anthropology to discursive involvements with landscape and environment. To that end I am developing a research project investigating conflicting discourses of environment in the greater Tahoe area.
- ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- ANTH 281 Introduction to Language
- ANTH 400a/600a Native American Ethnography
- ANTH 400e/600e Native American Literatures
- ANTH 405/605 Language, Religion, Politics
- ANTH 485/685 Language and Culture
- ANTH 706 Power in Language
- ANTH 709 Seminar in Linguistics
- Course in preparation: Language and Environment
Guest Editorship, Refereed Journal
- 2010 "Editorial: Intertextuality and Misunderstanding" Language and Communication 30 (1): 1-6.
Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Edited Volumes
- Forthcoming (with Paul Ethelbah and Genevie Ethelbah) "Ndah Ch'iidn: A Western Apache Journey Between Worlds." In Inside Dazzling Mountains: Native Literatures of the American Southwest. David Kotak, (ed.), University of Nebraska Press.
- 2012 (with Thomas J. Nevins) "They Do Not Know How to Ask': Pedagogy, Storytelling and the Ironies of Languages Endangerment on the Fort Apache Reservation." In Telling Stories In the Face of Danger. Paul Kroskrity, (ed.), University of Oklahoma Press.
- 2004 (with Thomas J. Nevins, Paul Ethelbah and Genevieve Ethelbah). "'He Became an Eagle': a Contemporary Western Apache Oral Narrative." In Voices from the Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of Native American Oral Literature. Brian Swann, ed. University of Nebraska Press.
- 2012. The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England, by Matt Cohen, University of Minnesota Press. For American Indian Culture and Research Journal Volume 35, no. 3.
- 2011. Book Review. The Bearer Of This Letter: Language Ideologies, Literacy Practices, And The Fort Belknap Indian Community, by Mindy Morgan, University of Nebraska Press. Language in Society 40(2):41-44.
- 2010 Review of Listening to the Land: Native American Literary Responses to the Landscape, by Lee Schweninger. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 17(1): 225-227.
- 2006 Review of Putting a Song on Top of It: Expression and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, by David Samuels. Anthropological Linguistics 48(2): 189-90
- 2005 Review of Don't Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 1860-1975, by Eva Tulene Watt with assistance from Keith Basso. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 28(4).
- 1997 (as Marybeth E. Culley) Review of: An Apache Life-Way: The Economic, Social and Religious Institutions of the Chirichua Indians by Morris Edward Opler. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1997, pp. 387-389.
- (Editor) 2000 (as M. Eleanor Culley) Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache Texts, by Harry Hoijer with Ethnological Notes by Morris Opler with contributions from Lawrence Mithlo, Sam Kenoi, Duncan Belacho, David Fatty, Charles Smith, and Horace Torres.
- Under Resources there are a number of early American Anthropologist (1898) and Journal of American Folklore (1898, 1899) and New Mexico Historical Review articles that treat Apachean stories, histories, etc.
- (with Tom Nevins) "The People Who Won This Land for Us Were Not Speaking English:" Translational Disjuncture on Apache Land." In preparation for presentation in a panel I organized entitled "Shared Landscapes" (panel title borrowed from Rodney Harrison) for the 2012 Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, November 17th, San Francisco.
- Weye-ebis ‘Keep Speaking' Mountain Maidu Language Project, Susanville Indian Rancheria.
- Wovoka Documentary Film Project, Orchard House Foundation and Yerington Paiute Tribe.
- Apache Scouts film project with director Dustinn Craig, producer Leighton Peterson, and support from PBS.
University of Nevada, Reno links: