Review of Identity Palimpsests: Archiving Ethnicity in the U.S. and Canada
journal contributionposted on 2016-02-02, 00:00 authored by Sonia Yaco
Medium cleaned for re-use, a palimpsest, retains a ghost image of the old content - whether the medium is parchment or a VHS tape. Likewise, ethnic identities are composed of layers, the old overlain with the new. These layers may include membership in an ethnic group based on a shared cultural background as well as an externally imposed ethnic designation. The role archives play in the preserving and acknowledging these layers is a dominant theme in this volume of 19 essays. The well-written essays range from theoretical background on the concept of ethnicity and cultural memory to case studies of history preservation for ethnic communities.