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The book’s first chapter, “Cultures of Removal,” reads William Whipple Warren’s strange and undertheorized work History of the Ojibway People—the first ethnography of Anishinaabe people by an Anishinaabe writer. The chapter situates Warren’s work in the context of removal, an idea typically understood to bookmark a legal and political era, but that this chapter expands to consider as a textual and cultural condition. The chapter’s analysis of Warren’s text repositions disciplinary keywords including sovereignty and the genre of survey as aspects of colonial removal, specifically as cultural logics that manage the recurring transition between colonial war and colonial aid. It also demonstrates Warren’s deconstructive approach to ethnography, in which gestures including originality, analogy, and interruption fiercely challenge colonial incorporation.

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