Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Marie Tedesco

Committee Members

Amy Collins, Jill LeRoy-Frazier, Victoria Meyer


Following the Enlightenment, Western adherence to positivist theory influenced practices of Western research and documentation. Prior to the introduction of positivism into Western scholarship, innovations in printing technology, literary advancements, and the development of capitalism encouraged the passing of copyright statutes by nation-states in fifteenth century Europe. The evolution of copyright and positivism in Europe influenced United States copyright and its protection of the author, as well as the practice of archiving and its role in interpreting history. Because Native American cultures practiced orality, they suffered the loss of their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions not protected by copyright. By incorporating postmodern perspectives on archiving and poststructuralist views on the formation of knowledge, this thesis argues that Native American tribes now use Western forms of digital technology to create archives, record their histories, and reclaim control of their traditional cultural expressions.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.