JCB Fellow's Talk: Michaela Kleber

November 29, 2017 - 4:00pm

Michaela Kleber (College of William & Mary), Ruth and Lincoln Ekstrom Fellow

"Colonization in Translation: Sex, Gender, and Dictionaries"

Using translation dictionaries of the Miami-Illinois language found at the JCB and elsewhere, this talk will explore how these language documents function as valuable sources for a group of people that did not leave behind a written record. The Miami-Illinois words and their French translations offer clues that allow us to reconstruct how gender and sexuality functioned in one Native society. Similarly, the development of these dictionaries over the first sixty years of French colonization provide an intimate look at the process and progress of French colonization in the area, particularly its affect on the gender and sexual systems of the Illinois, systems fundamental to both French and Illinois societies.

The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 p.m.