Nemeth, David J.
About the author: Dr. David “Jim” Nemeth is a cultural geographer in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toledo. He has pursued Gypsy studies scholarship for over thirty years. He offers a specialized Honors Seminar in gypsy studies titled “Gypsy Ethnicity in a Multicultural Context.” He is past President of the international Gypsy Lore Society and has served on its Board of Directors for several consecutive terms. He is also past editor of the Society’s Newsletter.2002 0-7734-7217-7
This study contributes to scholarship in several innovative ways. It is an ethnogeography, a regional ethnography, that focuses on an ambiguously-defined ethnic group in the United States – Rom Gypsies – whose survival strategies and stratagems appear to center ideally on the secrecy and mobility of its members. Gypsy scholars are continually frustrated in their search for truth because Gypsies, specially in America, remain ill-defined, incommensurable and impossible to map with any accuracy. The near absence of Gypsy-American landscapes and associated culture regions presents a challenge to traditional ethnography. This book contributes an unprecedented scholarly investigation of a Gypsy-American inscape as an alternative approach to the landscape study. The inscape is a vital activity space that produces and reproduces a Gypsy-American ethnos. The study focuses primarily on the activities of Thomas Nicholas, a self-ascribed Rom Gypsy-American, and his family, and offers extraordinary insight into the Gypsy-American ethnos. The book also addresses complex issues in Gypsy studies social science scholarship, provides a critique of its mission and accomplishments, and offers a unique window into the lives of some typical Gypsy scholars whose relentless pursuit of Gypsies involves considerable personal and professional risks.