6. WHAT'S IN A CONCEPT? THE KINETIC EMPIRE OF THE COMANCHES

Authors


ABSTRACT

This essay revisits the main themes and arguments put forward in The Comanche Empire: indigenous agency; spatial reorientation in the writing of colonial histories; the composition of the Comanche empire and its impact on the history of North America. It also responds to a number of specific issues raised by the roundtable participants: differences and similarities between indigenous and Euro-colonial power regimes; balancing of culture-specific frameworks with broad-gauge political economic analysis; linkages between indigenous agency and indigenous sovereignty in colonial encounters; the question of periodization in writing Native American and colonial histories. Finally, the essay points to new ways of understanding, conceptualizing, and comparing nonterritorial nomadic empires by introducing the concept of “kinetic empire,” which refers to a flexible imperial organization that revolves around a set of mobile activities and relies on selective nodal control of key resources.

Ancillary