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"For you have given me speech!"—Gifted Ethnographers, Illiterate Primitives, and Media Epistemologies in the Poetry and Plurimedial Writing of Margaret Mead

Reichel, A. Elisabeth


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  <identifier identifierType="DOI">10.5281/zenodo.4781318</identifier>
  <creators>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Reichel, A. Elisabeth</creatorName>
      <givenName>A. Elisabeth</givenName>
      <familyName>Reichel</familyName>
    </creator>
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  <titles>
    <title>"For you have given me speech!"—Gifted Ethnographers, Illiterate Primitives, and Media Epistemologies in the Poetry and Plurimedial Writing of Margaret Mead</title>
  </titles>
  <publisher>Zenodo</publisher>
  <publicationYear>2021</publicationYear>
  <subjects>
    <subject>Margaret Mead; cultural anthropology; ethnography; plurimediality; literacy/writing; poetry</subject>
  </subjects>
  <dates>
    <date dateType="Issued">2021-01-31</date>
  </dates>
  <resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="JournalArticle"/>
  <alternateIdentifiers>
    <alternateIdentifier alternateIdentifierType="url">https://zenodo.org/record/4781318</alternateIdentifier>
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  <relatedIdentifiers>
    <relatedIdentifier relatedIdentifierType="DOI" relationType="IsVersionOf">10.5281/zenodo.4484012</relatedIdentifier>
  </relatedIdentifiers>
  <rightsList>
    <rights rightsURI="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</rights>
    <rights rightsURI="info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess">Open Access</rights>
  </rightsList>
  <descriptions>
    <description descriptionType="Abstract">&lt;p&gt;This article centers on the role of the medium of alphabetic writing in the poetry and scholarship of Margaret Mead (1901&amp;ndash;1978), one of the most prolific writers of 20th-century U.S.-American anthropology. I argue that Mead&amp;rsquo;s writing about and with words is continuous with the Eurocentric cultural evolutionist understanding of phonetic writing as a marker of ultimate human advancement. Mead&amp;rsquo;s demarcation of her subjects&amp;rsquo; alterity by their lack of and failure to use the medium of script extends the process of epistemic colonization well into the 20th century, a process that denies the people that anthropologists study the ability to become involved with the very discourses that cast them in this position of objects of study. I first focus on Mead&amp;rsquo;s largely unexplored poetic writing and then consider the plurimedial work that grew out of her fieldwork in Bali.&lt;/p&gt;</description>
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