At the Bridge: James Teit and An Anthropology of Belonging, Wendy Wickwire — A Collective Review
18 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 2, 2020
Wendy Wickwire’s *At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging* tells the story of James Teit (1864–1922), a lost historical figure who affected countless lives, helped transform the discipline of anthropology, and became a “long-standing friend” of Indigenous peoples. Wickwire draws her audience into a style of anthropology that is situated, participatory, and strives to be contextually self-aware at every turn. Over the course of the book, Wickwire shows how Teit’s life story not only branches off in various directions, but also becomes entangled with other stories along the way. Our review of *At the Bridge* unfolds as follows. First, we provide a brief summary of each chapter and raise questions to consider. Second, we discuss Wickwire’s methodological approach, including the braided narrative structure that she weaves throughout her text, as well as the richness of “slow” scholarship. Third, we draw connections between this text and wider theoretical, historical, and political conversations, which we hope will be helpful to those engaged in various forms of socio-legal scholarship. To conclude, we return to the beginning, reflecting on the title of the book and how to carry this work forward collectively. We suggest that this text makes significant contributions to conversations about what it means to engage with theory, the ways in which historical archives are constructed and interpreted, and the continued importance of political solidarity. It is our hope that socio-legal scholars will be incited to take up this book in their own research.
Keywords: Teit, Wickwire, At the Bridge, Indigenous people, law, politics, history, anthropology, theory, methodology, Indigenous law, Canadian state, slow scholarship, braided narrative, Haraway, dwelling, belonging, academic time, cat's cradle, solidarity, ally, Shetland
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