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Funded Projects Query Form
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Grant number like: FA-56359-12

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Page size:
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Janet C. Berlo
University of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14627-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013

Fakes, Replicas, and Other Vexed Identities in Native American Art History

I request support to write the first book devoted to the vexed issues of authenticity, falsification, and inter-cultural translation in Native American art history. This will include, but not be limited to, issues of forgery, replication (by Natives and non-Natives alike), and mis-attribution. Some actions seen in the early to mid-20th century as collaborations between Natives and non-Natives (carving, dancing, making of cultural replicas) are now often discussed solely in terms of who has the right to engage in acts of cultural translation, and who is a ‘real’ Indian making ‘real’ Indian art. Yet elsewhere in the academic community, such one-dimensional notions are increasingly replaced with analyses of hybrid identities, Creolité, and other cosmopolitan constructs. My case studies range from the archaeological to the historical to the contemporary. I offer close readings of objects and incidents that are sometimes seen as Native art, but may also be read as NOT Native art.