Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Actes Du Trente-Septième Congrès Des Algonquinistes

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Actes Du Trente-Septième Congrès Des Algonquinistes

Article excerpt

H.C. Wolfart (ed.), Actes du Trente-Septième Congrès des Algonquinistes (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2006), xv + 496pp. Paper. $48. ISSN 0831-5671.

Algonquian Studies continue to flourish, especially in Canada. Of the more than ninety papers read at the thirty-seventh Annual Algonquian Conference held in Gatineau (Hull), Quebec in October 2005, only one-quarter (twenty-three) are published in these Actes. Doubtless, fiscal constraints restricted the size of publication; presumably many of the other contributions have been or will be published elsewhere, and some will have failed to reach the high editorial standards long since established by this remarkable multidisciplinary annual. (The titles and presenters of all the contributions are listed in the Présentation.)

What do the papers published here reveal about the current nature and concerns of the Algonquinistes? Given that there are very few native Algonquian speakers in the USA, but 150,000 or more in Canada, it is not surprising that more than three-quarters of the authors hold positions in Canadian universities or, indeed, that only one of the papers is concerned exclusively with US Algonquian: the Meskwaki (Fox). On the admittedly dubious evidence of authors' family names, not many Algonquinistes are native Algonquians. More than half of the contributors are female and, notwithstanding the French volume title, all but one of the contributions are in English. There is an overwhelming concern for linguistic topics and much of this will seem highly technical to non-linguists. It would be interesting to know the extent to which this is a consequence of the editor's own specialism, difficulties in placing such papers elsewhere, or a current thrust within the fraternity of Algonquinistes.

Of the non-linguistic papers, one group is a Festschrift for Regina Flannery, the recently-deceased US cultural anthropologist, whose seventy years of publishing are consolidated in a bibliography. …

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