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Voice as persona: Disinterring dispossessed women’s voices from a Sac & Fox Nation relocation and Gullah Sea island Lowcountry heirs’ property

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This paper uses the conventions of autoethnography, narrative research, writing as inquiry, and the artistic license of creative nonfiction to present a comparison of women’s narratives from the patrilineal Thunder Clan, the indigenous nation Sauk who were relocated from their summer home of Saukenuk, near the sacred confluence of the Mississippi and Sinnissippi (Rock) Rivers (N 41° 28.872 W 090° 36.945), to the Iowa Territory in 1825 and again to a sovereign reserve in Stroud, OK, and Gullah/Geechee nation Sea island heirs’ property owners. Leavy’s coherence is used as a framework to assess the paucity of contemporaneous narratives of women as landowners and women dispossessed of property. The culture of home/place and the construct of freedom are also explored among two distinct land cultures amid a turbulent 19th century of U.S. land dispossession.
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Robin Throne, PhD
Northcentral University
VOICE AS PERSONA:
DISINTERRING DISPOSSESSED WOMENS VOICES
FROM A SAC & FOX NATION RELOCATION
TO GULLAH SEA ISLAND LOWCOUNTRY
HEIRSPROPERTY
Throne, R. (2016). Past as prologue: Sea Island Cotton as heuristic
metaphor for the Port Royal Experiment. Sage Open, 6(3), 1-8.
doi:10.1177/2158244016662105
Throne, R. (2018). The letter: Fidelity in researcher positionality to
exhume dispossessed voices for Leavy’s coherence in feminist narrative
research. Under review, Journal of Gender Studies.
Two Archival Narrative Studies
LAND
THE SOURCE OF ALL
WEALTH
Henry George
1839-1897
Devoid of dominance
Responsibility to tenets of method
Fidelity
Redaction, Reduction, and Representation
Researcher Positionality
Poet Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor (Wesleyan
University Press), National Book Award Finalist
Historical persona poems and a prose memoir
Judges’ citation: Whether in persona or the lyric first person, each monologue finds a voice painfully self-
aware, prayerful, and astute.
Poet Layla Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf Press), National Book
Award Finalist
Judges’ citation: How words themselves are held up as possible (and actual) tools of oppression.
Poet Anders Carlson-Wee, Speaker for the Dead Workshop, persona
poetry
NEA & McKnight Foundation Fellow
The Low Passions (forthcoming W.W. Norton)
Voice as Persona
Archival Research as
Autoethnography/ Heuristic Research
Synthesis of Conventions
Feminist narrative research
Autoethnography
Writing as inquiry
Artistic license of Creative Nonfiction
Archival Research and Arts-Based Research
Coherence
aesthetic quality of the essence of the issue in a
coherent form to achieve aesthetic power (Leavy, 2017)
Narrative Coherence
Form and content must be closely aligned to achieve
narrative coherence (Leavy, 2013)
Leavy’s Coherence as Framework
Responsibility of curator vs. owner
Principles of land tenure
Relationship of self to land, property, acquisition,
dispossession
Sacred and public sites
Voice/persona of the dispossessed
Land Culture and Voice
Calls for Future Research
Creative nonfiction of voice as
persona to depict the life of
Black Hawk’s great-great
granddaughter, Mary Kakaque
Autoethnography to refine
creative nonfiction voice to
depict the continued
challenges with land
dispossession in the Gullah
community
Mary Kakaque Piquanna Mack
"Mary Kakaque Piquanna", 20 November 1918, Image 27.I-
B.gp.2.3, in MSS 27 Hauberg (John Henry) glass plate images,
Special Collections, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.
Thank you!
sacred confluence:
Mississippi & Sinnissippi
(Rock) Rivers
N 41° 28.872 W 090° 36.945
... As noted, researcher positionality must be considered within the multi-faceted, complex, and necessary structures surrounding qualitative inquiry, specifically in this study from a feminist narrative perspective, before it can or even should be engaged (Bourke, 2014;Blakely, 2007;Throne, 2012;Woodiwiss, Smith, & Lockwood, 2017). For this study, a definition of researcher positionality relied upon prior work by Bourke (2014), Throne (2012Throne ( , 2018aThrone ( , 2018b, and Bowlin, Buckner, and Throne (2016) over the past two years informed the inquiry to consider an authentic other narrative voice and to assess the fidelity of self as researcher and self-identified researcher positionality throughout the inquiry to dissect another's language to recount narrative voice as remnant of dispossession . This definition subscribes to the identification of one's positionality as a necessary process of a principal investigator for critical self-reflection and a determination of this selfawareness within the social constructs, biases, contexts, layers, power structures, identities, transparency, objectivity and subjectivities for the viewpoint assumed within the research (Bourke, 2014;Bowlin et al., 2016;Throne, 2012;Throne et al., 2018). ...
... The narrative data comprised to form a coherent narrative whole prior to analysis and the representation of results as rendered via redaction and reduction using a feminist research lens as a particular form of coherence to distinguish the perspectives self and other, researcher and researched, observer and observed (Leavy, 2013;Taylor, 2013;Throne, 2018aThrone, , 2018b. More importantly, this coherence framework must also be coupled with fidelity and leveling of researcher positionality, as noted earlier, if Mary's experiences are to be transferable to the experiences and explanation of phenomena within the living generations of Black Hawk's descendants, especially for Black Hawk's female descendants, and contribute to the current scholarship of this target population and emerging understanding of the legacy of acculturation and assimilation (Berryman et al., 2013). ...
... As Fitzgerald (2015) noted, these disparate voices can eventually form a coherent whole by which to better understand the lived experience from a gendered perspective, and that the disparate can emerge as a coherent multiplicity of voices. My own researcher positionality was informed by an ancestry of European and Scandinavian immigrants who settled the Midwest on land parcels forcibly vacated by these native peoples while my viewpoint issituated within an aesthetic and epistemology rooted in feminist principles and a researchbased understanding of the complexities of land culture as curators for the spiritual and relational aspects of earth and coastal access (Throne, 2016;Throne, 2018a) along with a necessity for process internalization, challenges to assumptions, and reflexivity in ongoing research-based inquiry. Likewise, Fletcher(2014) posited a privileged ontological position exists for white; yet, also noted white is panoptic with an inherent power for invisibility and observation. ...
Article
Full-text available
This feminist narrative research explored the fidelity of researcher positionality and Leavy's coherence to consider an archival personal letter from the Sauk warrior Black Hawk's great great daughter, Mary Kakaque, written to John Henry Hauberg, an Illinois philanthropist. Future research is needed to characterize Mary's educational experiences amid an era of cultural annihilation and assimilation within the collective narrative of Hauberg's interpretations, paraphrases, and summaries of Mary's existence, and a phenomenological study to explore Mary's lived experience within the full archival Hauberg collection to consider the constructs of voice or resilience as the lived experiences of Black Hawk's female descendants remain limited. In addition, a critical ethnography may be warranted for ancestral effects of relocation and assimilation from the perspectives of living Black Hawk and Mary's female descendants to contribute a contemporary perspective on voice, culture, and the legacy of land dispossession.
... Yet, persistent researcher positionality with fidelity may allow for a doctoral scholar to engage and negotiate the selection and use of autoethnography as doctoral research design with the research supervisor for doctoral-level study as the supervisor may or may not have prior experience with autoethnography (Dumitrica, 2010;Throne, 2018) and may initially resist solely based on a focus of self-as-subject. Research supervisors well-versed in guiding autoethnography, and who possess agency (Throne & Oddi, 2019) may caution new investigators in the choice of self-as-subject research initially due to understanding the barriers and difficulties the scholar may face in using memory as data or navigating reflexivity versus confessional writing, interpretation of reflexive narrative versus ethnodrama, evocative versus analytic autoethnography (Anderson, 2006;Humphreys, 2005;Winkler, 2018), or the very landscape of ethical issues and rigor surrounding self-generated data for analyses (Hughes, Pennington, & Makris, 2012). ...
... Unlike the scientific method, HI allows the researcher to unearth and reveal what exists rather than presupposition of experimental outcomes, and Douglass and Moustakas (1985) also stressed the rigorous analysis is what allows for the empirical study of the subjective data gathered from the self-as-subject. As described in Chapter 1, for the doctoral researcher-participant, the journey into this heuristic self-search and focus can also serve to develop and strengthen agency as well as clarity of researcher positionality for the new doctoral investigator (Throne, 2012;Throne & Bourke, 2019;Throne & Oddi, 2019). ...
Chapter
This chapter presents reflections on the use of self-as-subject research within doctoral education as a pathway to explore meaning of study phenomena to uncover new knowledge from the individual of the self. Knowledge is contextual and discoverable from within this rich internal experience of the researcher-participant and extant and contemporary perspectives are presented to illustrate the importance and appropriateness of the selection of self-as-subject research methods including autoethnography and heuristic inquiry for doctoral-level research. The importance of the relational aspects of the doctoral researcher and doctoral research supervisor is briefly considered as well as contextual and institutional aspects necessary to inform doctoral researchers who may choose these methods of inquiry.
... The authors have previously defined voice dispossession from the literature of discourse analysis whereby voice is a social construct that offers characterization and impression of an academic and/or professional identity (de Magalhães, Cotterall, & Mideros, 2019;Throne, 2018Throne, , 2019. Dispossession of voice is considered as an occurrence of repression, silence, invisibility, or mischaracterization of meaning among the domains of power that define the relational structures within a higher education organizational entity (Hill & Bilge, 2016;Musil, 2015;Throne, 2019). ...
Chapter
Postsecondary organizational statistics show women remain limited and underrepresented within presidential and provost appointments, and progress has slowed into the 21st century. This chapter presents a critical review of the current scholarship of gender parity among higher education executive leadership specifically for a construct of voice dispossession. In past work, the authors have discussed how voice dispossession occurs among a dominant past culture and imbalanced power domains amid hierarchical structures for evolving organizational cultures as women often adopt a filtered voice or make attributional accommodations amidst challenges within these power and gendered organizational structures. This chapter extends the conversation by examining this focus within the larger body of research into women in higher education executive leadership to reveal limits of access and career success. While these power domains have historically been predominant across North America, parallels exist among other continents.
... The authors have previously defined voice dispossession from the literature of discourse analysis whereby voice is a social construct that offers characterization and impression of an academic and/or professional identity (de Magalhães, Cotterall, & Mideros, 2019;Throne, 2018Throne, , 2019. Dispossession of voice is considered as an occurrence of repression, silence, invisibility, or mischaracterization of meaning among the domains of power that define the relational structures within a higher education organizational entity (Hill & Bilge, 2016;Musil, 2015;Throne, 2019). ...
Chapter
Postsecondary organizational statistics show women remain limited and underrepresented within presidential and provost appointments and progress has slowed into the 21st century. This chapter presents a critical review of the current scholarship of gender parity among higher education executive leadership specifically for a construct of voice dispossession. In past work, the authors have discussed voice dispossession occurs among a dominant past culture and imbalanced power domains amid hierarchical structures for evolving organizational cultures as women often adopt a filtered voice or make attributional accommodations amidst challenges within these power and gendered organizational structures. This chapter extends the conversation by examining this focus within the larger body of research into women in higher education executive leadership to reveal limits of access and career success. While these power domains have historically been predominant across North America, parallels exist among other continents.
... The authors have previously defined voice dispossession from the literature of discourse analysis whereby voice is a social construct that offers characterization and impression of an academic and/or professional identity (de Magalhães, Cotterall, & Mideros, 2019;Throne, 2018Throne, , 2019. Dispossession of voice is considered as an occurrence of repression, silence, invisibility, or mischaracterization of meaning among the domains of power that define the relational structures within a higher education organizational entity (Hill & Bilge, 2016;Musil, 2015;Throne, 2019). ...
Preprint
Postsecondary organizational statistics show women remain limited and underrepresented within presidential and provost appointments and progress has slowed into the 21st century. This chapter presents a critical review of the current scholarship of gender parity among higher education executive leadership specifically for a construct of voice dispossession. In past work, the authors have discussed voice dispossession occurs among a dominant past culture and imbalanced power domains amid hierarchical structures for evolving organizational cultures as women often adopt a filtered voice or make attributional accommodations amidst challenges within these power and gendered organizational structures. This chapter extends the conversation by examining this focus within the larger research conversation to consider research into women in higher education executive leadership for limits of access and career success. While these power domains have historically been predominant across North America, parallels exist among other continents.
... Critical qualitative inquiry was used to examine the data representations in the studies presented in this chapter, as indigenous research allows for ways of understanding communities and cultural values culture (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986;Haig-Brown & Dannenmann, 2002). On the other hand, research focused on gaps for gender and race considerations can facilitate transformation for both indigenous and non-indigenous researchers (Throne, 2018). Likewise, Snow et al. (2016), determined: ...
Chapter
This chapter presents results of a heuristic and arts-based research critical inquiry and ongoing critical review of continued research into Lowcountry heirs’ property ownership and the recurrent generational challenges, governmental influences, and tourism impact on land dispossession and retention along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Comparisons are explored across oceans and decades to illustrate the cyclical nature of research and attention into the phenomenon of land dispossession with the lens of Leavy’s concept of coherence to assess the paucity of contemporaneous narratives of voices of women landowners. Land tenure, voice and land dispossession, freedom as ownership, and the culture of home/place are also explored as well as the legacy of the African diaspora specifically among women landowners. A comparison/contrast is offered of the two critical qualitative data representations: a scholarly journal article and an arts-based research allegorical novella.
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