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Native American freemasonry: associationalism and performance in America

Porter, Joy

Authors



Abstract

Described by Margaret C. Jacobs of UCLA as "A triumph of scholarship", this book applies the new analytical lens of performance to the study of Freemasonry. It also brings a rich set of completely new archival material into scholarly and popular view. A Leverhulme Trust Fellowship allowed the author to gather archival material from over sixteen sites across North America and Europe. This has been usedto reveal how imagined and performed identities coalesced within Freemasonry and impacted upon American associationmore generally. A key strength of this bookis the depth of evaluative perspective it applies to this new archival material and the way the limitations and potentialities of performance as an historical tool are teased out and explored. The book argues for the first time that the performance of ritual allowed Native Americans unique access to a seam of largely middle-class, elite, Protestant culture over time. This is a fresh story within American history where Freemasonry's significance is now gaining recognition but where the Indian role within it had been unknown. The book thus resonates within three previously discrete fields, the study of performance, theeffort to repositionNative American history within modernity and the study of Freemasonry. This book's overarching concern is with how Masonry met specific social and personal needs, a theme developed across three significant periods of membership: the revolutionary era, the last third of the nineteenth century, and the years following the First World War. Native American Freemasonry exposes a new dimension of Freemasonry insocial and politicalterms as a transatlantic phenomenon at the heart of the colonizing process. Itmakes a series of interlinked arguments explaining why Freemasonry had suchmeaning for so many key Native leaders over time. It has been nominated for six international historical research awards.

Book Type Authored Book
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Book Title Native American freemasonry: associationalism and performance in America
ISBN 978-0-80322-547-3
Institution Citation Porter, J. Native American freemasonry: associationalism and performance in America. The University of Hull
Keywords REF 2014 submission