UNP Mourns the Loss of Scholars DeMallie and Parks

The following is from the University of Nebraska Press Fall 2021 Newsletter, i.e.

The University of Nebraska Press lost two of its most renowned scholars this spring with the passing of both Raymond J. DeMallie (October 16, 1946– April 25, 2021) and Douglas R. Parks (August 28, 1942–May 20, 2021).

As Senior Editor Matthew Bokovoy said in remembering them: “Ray DeMallie and Douglas Parks’s distinguished careers in the fields of anthropological linguistics, ethnohistory, and cultural anthropology left an important legacy in these fields. By establishing and cultivating long-term networks among many great plains Native nations, they were some of the first scholars in the 1960s and 1970s to pioneer collaborative research and elevate oral traditions to a first-order primary source with which to revise Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis. This effort situated Native peoples’ points of view and historical consciousness into the center of both ethnohistory and Native American and Indigenous studies. Their PhD students became the leading great plains ethnohistorians of their generations as well.

Both DeMallie and Parks were prolific scholars and researchers and many of their major works were published by UNP. In addition, Parks served as editor of the UNP journal Anthropological Linguistics from 1991 until his death. He founded and coedited with DeMallie the three book series Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians, Studies in the Native Languages of the Americas, and Sources of American Indian Oral Literature, all published by UNP. Among his many publications is his four-volume set of traditional Arikara narratives, also published by UNP. DeMallie contributed a number of edited volumes, introductions, forewords, and annotations to UNP works, including his annotation of Black Elk Speaks.

Perhaps one of their most lasting and significant achievements was the establishment in 1984 of the American Indian Studies Institute at Indiana University, which would go on to become one of the leading interdisciplinary institutes on American Indian culture, linguistics, and history.

“UNP will sorely miss the contributions and scholarship of these two great men,” said Jane Ferreyra, director of the Press, “but their work published here will continue to be available to new generations of scholars.”

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