Aleut Ethnography in Transition: In Memory of Dorothy Jones

Katherine L. Reedy and Marie E. Lowe


This paper honors the memory of Dorothy Jones (1923–2015), an Alaska scholar who conducted ethnographic research in the Aleutians between 1969 and 1976. The authors contextualize Jones’s and their own work within the history of ethnography in the Aleutians which began with Ioann Veniaminov’s 1840 Notes on the Islands of the Unalaska District to the autoethnographic perspective of indigenous students and scholars today. Using Jones’s work as a point of departure, the paper critically examines changes in the enterprise of ethnography and the contemporary limits of the methodology. Jones’s work, in particular, exposes why anthropologists currently face those limitations but also highlights the important historical record created by past ethnographers.

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