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Amanda Minks: "Indigenous Audibilities: Re-thinking Records and Recordings through Inter-American Archive Stories"

This presentation explores the relationships and networks that created new archives of sound recordings and other documentary records related to Indigenous cultures in the middle of the twentieth century. Adapting Antoinette Burton's notion of "archive stories" for a critical project of Indigenous recuperation, I argue that examining the relationships around archives is just as important as the records they contain. The presentation will draw on several case studies emerging from inter-American networks, with special attention to Mexican recording projects under the auspices of the Inter-American Indian Institute. Amanda Minks is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Oklahoma. Her research has focused on the social and aesthetic practices of communication across cultures. Dr. Minks conducted long-term ethnographic and sociolinguistic research for her first book, "Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua" (University of Arizona Press, 2013). Studying vocal play revealed how Indigenous children used creative forms, multilingualism, and media to stake claims of belonging in a multiethnic community on the fringes of the nation-state. Dr. Minks' second book is entitled "Indigenous Audibilities: Music, Heritage, and Collections in the Americas" (Oxford University Press, December 2023). This historical work reconstructs the social relations and institutions that led to collections of Indigenous music and folklore in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Dr. Minks is also engaged in a collaborative, public-facing digital project, the Indigenous Media Portal, which will help make Indigenous collections at OU more accessible to heritage communities and others.