Jonathan C. H. King is the former Keeper of Anthropology, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. He is also an accomplished author, most recently of, 'Blood and Land: the Story of Native North America'.
In February he will visit Dublin to carry out some research in the Library and Archives of the RDS, where he will also give a talk on the subject of the diversity and determination which shapes the cycles of success and setback in the lives of the indigenous peoples of Canada and the USA.
In his much-lauded book King states: "There are many names for the peoples described… 'Native', 'indigenous', 'aboriginal', 'First Nation' and 'Indian'… and the terms mean different things to different people in different contexts," and, "No understanding of the USA is possible without first comprehending the story of its original inhabitants." He also gives insights into attitude towards nature, religion, ceremony, language and cultural practices of the peoples of the Nation States which first populated North America.
His talk will further cover elements raised in the aforementioned book and he will show the way the Native leaders in the US set up casinos, and brought about a change in fortunes for their people in the 20th century. The American situation is compared to that in Canada, where land was removed from First Nations by the Indian Act even more ruthlessly than in the US.
It has been noted by Ciaran Brady of TCD that King follows a tradition of the great anthropologists and ethnographers of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Lewis Morgan, Alfred Kroeber and Anthony Wallace. His talk in the RDS Library Speaker Series is a wonderful opportunity for audiences to hear this much travelled and learned speaker, who has worked with many different Native peoples to understand cultures and to explain difficult histories to a general audience.
Exclusive offer to RDS Members:
RDS Members who book for this talk and attend, will be entered in a free draw with a chance to win a signed copy of Jonathan’s book, 'Blood and Land: the Story of Native North America'. The draw will take place after the talk on February 28.
The above talk is admission free but prior booking is essential.
Voluntary donations by attendees to assist in covering costs are welcomed.