Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seth Kantner Talks Tonight at UAA at 7pm

[Update: newer post after the talk.]
Seth Kantner's Ordinary Wolves is a remarkable book.  I thought I wrote a post about it, but apparently not.  I haven't read his new book Shopping for Porcupine.

7pm at the Arts Building* 150 

There is a little bit buried in a longer post about Tony Hopfinger's article about Wales in the the Walrus.  I'll excerpt a bit of here since it's too hard to find in the longer piece.

The Ethics of Outsiders Writing about Rural Alaska

An aside on language first. In cross-cultural discussions, it's important to clarify our words. I don't talk about 'white' writers here, because the issue is not restricted simply to 'whites.' It is really about non-Natives. But what about non-Natives who grew up in rural Alaska, like Seth Kantner who not only grew up in rural Alaska, but did so living a subsistence lifestyle using traditional tools? His book Ordinary Wolves [I didn't like any of the links I saw, and even this NPR piece starts out with the stereotypical "Ooooh eeeee. He grew up in a half buried arctic igloo made of sod. He had no electricity, no plumbing..." but you get to hear Kantner himself] writes about that life and about changes in rural Alaska. So, 'outsider', seems an appropriate term. I mean it to include people who have a different way of seeing the world from people who grew up in rural Alaska. It includes those who live in rural Alaska temporarily as government officials, teachers, medical personnel - people who get an intimate glimpse of rural Alaska life through their jobs, but with the glasses of an Outsider. Which is not to say some can't cross the line.

The Arts Building is on the far east of campus past the administration building.  That whole part of campus is entirely changed since the woods were cut down and a new parking garage installed.  Parking in the lot (don't know about the garage) should be free since it will be after 7pm.  And the talk itself is free. 

Shopping for Porcupine is also one of the two books that are being read this year in many different UAA classes.  It should be worth coming to hear Kantner.

*This is the southside of the Art Building. The entrance is to the right and up the main road.  Or you can park your bike at the end of this path on the left of the building.

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