Native American Freemasonry
Associationalism and Performance in America
University of Nebraska Press 2011
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network February 11, 2013 Arika Easley-Houser
Joy Porter is the author of Native American Freemasonry: Associationalism and Performance in America (University of Nebraska Press, 2011). She has also written several other publications, including, To Be Indian: The Life of Iroquois-Seneca Arthur Caswell Parker (University of Oklahoma Press, 2001) and Land & Spirit in Native America (Praeger Press, 2012), and she co-edited a book with Kenneth M. Roemer, entitled The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2005). In her latest book, she carefully tells the fascinating story of an elusive subject that sparks many historical debates: the organizational history and inclusion of Native American freemasons in America. She covers the broad chronology of freemasonry in general, from the British origins in the sixteenth-century to freemasonry in America from the eighteenth- to the twentieth-centuries. She explains how freemasonry is one of many institutions that exemplified the process of the transatlantic exchange of ideas from Europe to the Americas. More specifically, she examines the Native American freemasonry from an interdisciplinary approach, such as using theories from performance studies and socio-psychological ideas of associationalism. Furthermore, she examines Native American freemasonry from the lense of understanding the idea of “ornamentalism” (a concept borrowed from Edward Said’s work, Orientalism) to evoke the historical and racial perceptions of Native Americans from the colonial era, and how some of these ideas shifted over time. Listen in.