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Longleaf Select University Press Titles Spring/Summer 2021

  • Other Formats

    9781469663364 9781469661629 Paperback / softback, Trade paperback (US), $29.95
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Remembering Native Kinship in and beyond Institutions
By (author): Susan Burch
Susan Burch


The University of North Carolina Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Hardcover , Cloth


Apr 01, 2021
$128.95 CAD


9in x 6 in | 1 gr

Page Count:

240 pages


18 halftones
The University of North Carolina Press
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
Between 1902 and 1934, the United States confined hundreds of adults and children from dozens of Native nations at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, a federal psychiatric hospital in South Dakota. But detention at the Indian Asylum, as families experienced it, was not the beginning or end of the story. For them, Canton Asylum was one of many places of imposed removal and confinement, including reservations, boarding schools, orphanages, and prison-hospitals. Despite the long reach of institutionalization for those forcibly held at the Asylum, the tenacity of relationships extended within and beyond institutional walls.

In this accessible and innovative work, Susan Burch tells the story of the Indigenous people—families, communities, and nations, across generations to the present day—who have experienced the impact of this history. Drawing on oral history interviews, correspondence, material objects, and archival sources, Burch reframes the histories of institutionalized people and the places that held them. Committed expands the boundaries of Native American history, disability studies, and U.S. social and cultural history generally.

Susan Burch is professor of American studies at Middlebury College.

Committed is story and history. A much-needed public, intergenerational history unveils yet another mode of removal, incarceration, and violence against Indigenous women and families and the other side of it through the stories of descendants. A necessary read to understand the historic breadth and forms of Indian Removal."—Jacki T. Rand, University of Iowa

A must-read for anyone interested in the history of asylums and the ways those institutions have torn the fabric of people's lives, leaving legacies of trauma in their wake. The book powerfully chronicles the resistance of the people incarcerated at Canton Asylum and the kin networks that led to their survivance and the survival of their memory."—Anne E. Parsons, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

A new model for engaged history, Committed sears through the story of Native people stolen from their communities and trammeled by racism within a federally run psychiatric facility."—Katherine Ott, National Museum of American History

A model of how to write histories that are as inclusive and broadly accessible as they are necessary."—H-Net

Susan Burch's Committed is a pithy yet powerful read."—Law and History Review

This slim volume packs a powerful punch. . . . Burch's theoretical framing of the subject is brilliant and encourages us to reckon with the history of psychiatric thought and its manifestation in institutional practice in new ways."—Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

A short but powerful book. . . . Committed offers a case study of how Native American history should be researched and written."—Annals of Iowa

By identifying institutionalized people, mostly women, whose stories could be patched together through archival records and contemporary oral history interviews, Burch brings them out of the shadows to underscore not only the human cost but also the human capacity for hope, healing, and survival under the worst of circumstances."—Journal of American History

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