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In 1911, a Native American man, the only member of his community to survive a genocide, encountered the new Anthropology department at the University of California, Berkeley. What happened next helped to define the ethical quandaries of the field and, in a strange turn, the history of science fiction. This episode: That story and the moral stakes of imagining the past and the future.

Key Sources & Further Reading:

Ishi’s Brain by Orin Starn

Ishi in Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber

The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall: Language, Memory, and Indigenous California by Andrew Garrett

Playing Indian by Philip J. Deloria

“Ishi’s Story,” Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century, by James Clifford.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, directed by Arwen Curry.

The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin” by Julie Phillips, New Yorker, October 10, 2016

Salvage Anthropology ‘A Nasty Business’,” Season 2 Episode 2 of Challenging Colonialism

The Legacy of Kroeber, Ishi, & UC Berkeley,” Season 2 Episode 3 of Challenging Colonialism

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd. Copyright © 1973. All Rights reserved.

The Word For World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ishi by Richard Burrill

Gold, Greed and Genocide by the International Indian Treaty Council

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

1973 Talk at Red Bluff High School,” Ad Kessler

Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration, By Theodora Kroeber

The Radical History of the Red Power Movement’s Fight for Native American Sovereignty” by Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, November 25, 2020

Native Americans seized Wounded Knee 50 Years Ago. Here’s What 1 Reporter Remembers” by Rachel Treisman, NPR

Remembering Vine Deloria, Jr.” by Jennifer Davis, Library of Congress

How a UC Berkeley Professor Taught With Remains Suspected To Be Native American” by Mary Hudetz, ProPublica and Graham Lee Brewer, MSNBC & ProPublica

“Mister Ishi: Analogies of Exile, Deliverance, and Liberty” by Gerald Vizenor, Ishi in Three Centuries, edited by Karl Kroeber and Clifton Kroeber

“The Power of Names” by Justice Gary Strankman, Ishi in Three Centuries, edited by Karl Kroeber and Clifton Kroeber

“Ishi and the University” by Karen Biestman, Ishi in Three Centuries, edited by Karl Kroeber and Clifton Kroeber

“A Personal Remembrance of Ishi” by Fred H. Zumwalt Jr., Ishi in Three Centuries, edited by Karl Kroeber and Clifton Kroeber

“When the World Was New: Ishi’s Stories” by Jean Perry, Ishi in Three Centuries, edited by Karl Kroeber and Clifton Kroeber

Vine Deloria on Native Americans (1972)

Ursula K. Le Guin, Avenali Chair in the Humanities (talk)

Richard Oakes delivering the Alcatraz Proclamation (1969) – from THE EDUCATION ARCHIVE

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)

“LAST OF VANISHED TRIBE: Only Survivor of Bloodthirsty Indians Turns Up Starving” Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American (1910-1920); Aug 31, 1911; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Nashville Tennessean (1812-1922) pg. 3

“A Live Man from the Stone Age to Tell Us How Stone Age Men Behaved” The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Sun, Nov 5, 1911

“Ishi, Glorious In Freedom, Is Most Inglorious In Captivity” Oroville Daily Register (Oroville, California) · Sat, Mar 14, 1914

“It’s All Too Much For Ishi; Says the Scientist” by A. L. Kroeber, The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Sun, Oct 8, 1911

“History of Man Shown In New Museum” The San Fracisco Examiner, 04 Oct 1911, Wed. Page 10

“Ishi Continues to Draw Crowds” San Francisco Chronicle

05 Nov 1911, Sun. Page 47

“‘The Heaven of the White People,’ Ishi Calls the Orpheum” by Grant Wallace, The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Sun, Oct 8, 1911. Page 4.

Interview with Mrs. John Parks Davis (née Elizabeth Pope), Marshall H. Kuhn, February 23, 1973. Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

Interview with Saxton Pope, Marshall H. Kuhn, December 9, 1972.

Archival material used courtesy of University of Oregon | Special Collections and University Archives.

Ishi, Myth of Wood-duck,” Thomas T. Waterman, September 1911, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

The Hosts

Ben Naddaff-Hafrey

Ben Naddaff-Hafrey is a Senior Producer at Pushkin Industries and host of The Last Archive. Prior to hosting, Ben was the lead producer on The Last Archive. Prior to Pushkin, Ben…

Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper Professor of American History and Affiliate Professor of Law at Harvard University and a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she writes about politics,…