Imagining the Other: First Encounters in North America
THE FOLLOWING ESSAY HAS HAD A LONG EVOLUTION. IT sprang from a twelve-page invitation from a Spanish foundation to contribute a paper on North America to a tripartite conference called "In Word and Deed: Interethnic Encounters and Cultural Developments in the New World." I was recruited for a session intriguingly entitled "Asombro y duda ante los otros" (Amazement and doubt in the presence of the other). Furthermore, two parts of the conference were to be held in Trujillo, Spain, and a princely sounding honorarium of pesetas was held out as an additional carrot. So I signed on with unseemly haste, even after learning that the site of the initial conference of which I was to be a part was Albany, New York, more than familiar to me from fifteen years of attending the annual meetings of the Conference on Iroquois Research.
At the bilingual conference in October 1988, I gave a brief version of my paper per instructions, but later submitted an expanded version for publication in the conference proceedings. Replete with annoying anthropological-style "footnotes," again per instructions, it eventually appeared in Interethnic Images: Discourse and Practice in the New World, edited by Gary H. Gossen and J. Jorge Klor de Alva.*