Analyzing personal narratives across disciplines: examples from nineteenth century Minnesota

Author(s): Kaila Akina

Year: 2015


Documentary sources are an important complement to material culture in archaeological analysis. One form specifically--personal narratives--provides us with ample opportunities to explore aspects of past people's worlds as they saw and experienced them. What makes these printed and oral accounts fascinating to explore is what gets recorded, who recoded it, and why. I argue that archaeologists would benefit from investigating these sources as critically as other documents. This paper offers a preliminary exploration of personal narratives from the first half of nineteenth-century Minnesota. During this time, Europeans, Americans, and Native peoples saw their worlds changing with the decline of the fur trade and the influx of settlers. Drawing from perspectives from history, indigenous studies, and literary studies, the personal narratives I am evaluating reveal (1) how people interacted and crossed shifting geographical and social boundaries and (2) the implications for the archaeology of colonial encounters during this period.

Cite this Record

Analyzing personal narratives across disciplines: examples from nineteenth century Minnesota. Kaila Akina. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434061)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 476