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Native American Scholarship

In the editor's preface to New Directions in American Indian History, Colin Calloway (1987) poses three questions pertinent to the current state of Native American scholarship. The first question relates to the need for a guide to current literature that leads the researcher to the most significant publications. The second question asks what areas of research are being pursued by authors and students. The third question seeks to determine what areas of research remain undeveloped in the field of current scholarship (Calloway, 1987, p. ix). According to Calloway (1987), interest in Indian history is a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to the 1950s scholars paid scant attention to this field of study; now, in excess of five hundred books and articles are published on the subject each year.

The essays in New Directions in American Indian History seek to answer the Calloway questions. The book is divided into two parts which describe recent trends in the study of Native American history and emerging fields of interest. As Calloway (1987) puts it: "Even as students of Native American life congratulate themselves on the growth of their field, they need to avoid getting caught in intellectual ruts, repeating old errors or ignoring new fields of inquiry" (p. 51). The recent trends in the field of Native American study include quantitative methods of Indian enumeration, Indian women, the Metis tribe, Indians of the Southern Plains, Native American legal aspects, and a reassessment of twentieth century Indian scholarship. The emerging fields include Plains Indian language study, economics and Indian history, and the history of Native American religions.

Rollings (1987) contends that additional studies are merited on the subject of the history of the Southern Plains Indians. Past research in this region has focussed on the European point of view. According to Rollings (1987), "Not only must we better understand the Indi...

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Native American Scholarship. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:21, August 14, 2020, from