Inuit and Whalers on Baffin Island Through German Eyes: Wilhelm Weike's Arctic Journal and Letters (1883-84)

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9781926824116: Inuit and Whalers on Baffin Island Through German Eyes: Wilhelm Weike's Arctic Journal and Letters (1883-84)
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Told from an ordinary man’s perspective, these are the journal and letters of Wilhelm Weike as he accompanied Franz Boas the father of modern anthropology on his journey to the arctic from 1883 to 1884. This extraordinary document of early arctic history provides a plain, direct view of the Inuit and the whalers in their arctic environment at the end of the 19th century. With invaluable contextual and complementary information, this book contributes key insights during the recent wave of scientific assessment of Franz Boas’s legacy in all social sciences.

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About the Author:

Ludger Müller-Wille is a retired professor of geography and northern studies at McGill University and the author of Franz Boas with the Inuit of Baffin Island, 1883–1884: Journals and Letters. He has studied ethnicity and human-environmental relations in the arctic and subarctic among the Sámi and Finns, Inuit, Dene, and Naskapi. He lives in Montreal, Quebec. Bernd Gieseking is a cabaret artist and author of children's radio plays and theatre plays. He has hosted theatre, radio, and TV shows, including The Annual Satirical Review. William Barr is a research fellow at the Arctic Institute of North America and the author of Arctic Hell-Ship, Arctic Scientist, Gulag Survivor, and Joseph-Elzéar Bernier. He is also the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Historical Association for his contributions to the historiography of the Canadian North. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Review:

"Weike's journal and letters do not stand alone. Introductory material and extensive background on both Boas and Weike and on the Arctic during the period add to and amplify the first-person account. Inuit and Whalers on Baffin Island through German Eyes greatly enriches our picture of the intermingling of indigenous and European cultures in the late nineteenth-century Arctic." —www.ForewordReviews.com (November 2011)

"[A] German servant's 1883 Arctic journal details challenges of daily living. . . . Weike's descriptions of the Arctic weather and terrain, his precise observations of life and impressions of his encounters with Inuit, whalers and wildlife bring you back to a time when winter started in late August." —www.NunatsiaqOnline.ca

"As servant to Franz Boas 'Weike finally gets his day in the limelight, and it is a cause for reflection on the social blind spots of even the greatest of men, as well as the scientific habit of monopolizing all of the credit for oneself, as if assistants, informants, and other hangers-on contributed nothing to the accomplishments of the scientist.'" —Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver

"Weike's journal is a fascinating text and an exceptional piece of working-class literature." —www.IASSA.org

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