Scott Lyons Lecture, "Migrations to Modernity: The Many Voices of George Copway's Running Sketches of Men and Places, in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Scotland (1851)"
George Copway (Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh) (1818-1869) was an Ojibwe missionary, author of several books and a newspaper, and a delegate to the 1850 Peace Congress, who in 1851 published the first full-length, Indian-authored travel book, Running Sketches of Men and Places, in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Scotland. This lecture will examine Copway's remarkable book and life in historical context, including Indian removal policies, discourses of "scientific racism," a growing international peace movement, and the development of a "multi-voiced" subjectivity and prose style associated with modernity -- even in the case of a nineteenth-century Indian who was born in a wigwam.
Scott Lyons is associate professor of American culture and English at the University of Michigan. He was a 2013-14 Hunting Family Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities.