News for Tuesday, March 27, 2012
SAR Press Author Wins 2011 James Mooney Award
SAR is pleased to announce that Circe Sturm’s Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the Twenty-first Century is a co-winner of the 2011 James Mooney Award. Given annually by the Southern Anthropological Society, the award recognizes distinguished anthropological scholarship on the South and Southerners. The 2011 award is shared with From Chicaza to Chickasaw: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World, 1540–1715 by Robbie Ethridge.
Published by SAR Press in 2011, Becoming Indian examines Cherokee identity politics and the phenomenon of racial shifting. Racial shifters, as described by Sturm, are people who have changed their racial self-identification from non-Indian to Indian on the US Census. Becoming Indian explores the social and cultural values that lie behind this phenomenon and delves into the motivations of these Americans—from so many different walks of life—to reinscribe their autobiographies and find deep personal and collective meaning in reclaiming their Indianness. Sturm points out that “becoming Indian” was not something people were quite as willing to do forty years ago—the willingness to do so now reveals much about the shifting politics of race and indigeneity in the United States.
Circe Sturm completed a draft of Becoming Indian while an NEH resident scholar at SAR in 2003–2004. She is currently an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.