The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature

ISBN : 9780190086251

James H. Cox; Daniel Heath Justice
768 Pages
170 x 244 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
Oxford Handbooks
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Over the course of the last twenty years, Native American and Indigenous American literary studies has experienced a dramatic shift from a critical focus on identity and authenticity to the intellectual, cultural, political, historical, and tribal nation contexts from which these Indigenous literatures emerge. The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature reflects on these changes and provides a complete overview of the current state of the field.

The Handbook's forty-three essays, organized into four sections, cover oral traditions, poetry, drama, non-fiction, fiction, and other forms of Indigenous American writing from the seventeenth through the twenty-first century. Part I attends to literary histories across a range of communities, providing, for example, analyses of Inuit, Chicana/o, Anishinaabe, and Metis literary practices. Part II draws on earlier disciplinary and historical contexts to focus on specific genres, as authors discuss Indigenous non-fiction, emergent trans-Indigenous autobiography, Mexicanoh and Spanish poetry, Native drama in the U.S. and Canada, and even a new Indigenous children's literature canon. The third section delves into contemporary modes of critical inquiry to expound on politics of place, comparative Indigenism, trans-Indigenism, Native rhetoric, and the power of Indigenous writing to communities of readers. A final section thoroughly explores the geographical breadth and expanded definition of Indigenous American through detailed accounts of literature from Indian Territory, the Red Atlantic, the far North, Yucatan, Amerika Samoa, and Francophone Quebec.

Together, the volume is the most comprehensive and expansive critical handbook of Indigenous American literatures published to date. It is the first to fully take into account the last twenty years of recovery and scholarship, and the first to most significantly address the diverse range of texts, secondary archives, writing traditions, literary histories, geographic and political contexts, and critical discourses in the field.


Introduction - Post-Renaissance Native American and Indigenous American Literary Studies, James H. Cox and Daniel H. Justice

Part I - Histories

1. The Sovereign Obscurity of Inuit Literature, Keavy Martin

2. At the Crossroads of Red/Black Literature, Kiara Vigil and Tiya Miles

3. Ambivalence and Contradiction in Contemporary Maya Literature from Yucatan: Jorge Cocom Pech's Muk'ult'an in Nool [Grandfather's Secrets] Emilio Del Valle Escalante

4. Early Native Literature, U.S., Phillip Round

5. Nineteenth-Century Native Literature, Maureen Konkle

6. Hawaiian Literature in Hawaiian: An Overview, Noenoe K. Silvama

7. Metis Identity and Literature, Kristina Fagan Bidwell

8. Queering Indigenous Pasts, or Temporalities of Tradition and Settlement, Mark Rifkin

9. Singing Forwards and Backwards: Ancestral and Contemporary Chamorro Poetics, Craig Santos Perez

10. Indigenous Orality and Oral Literatures, Christopher Teuton

11. Anishinaabendamowaad Epichii Zhibiaamowaad: Anishinaabe Literature, Margaret Noodin

Part II - Genres

12. Native Nonfiction, Robert Warrior

13. Towards a Native American Women's Autobiographical Tradition: Genre as Political Practice, Crystal Kurzen

14. Ixtlamatiliztli / Knowledge with the Face: Intellectual Migrations and Colonial

Dis-placements in Natalio Hernandez's Xochikoskatl, Adam Coon

15. 'our leaves of paper will be / dancing lightly': Indigenous Poetics, Sophie Mayer

16. Natives and Performance Culture, LeAnne Howe

17. Published Native American Drama, 1980?2011, Alexander Pettit

18. Indigenous American Cinema, Denise K. Cummings

19. Reading the Visual, Seeing the Verbal: Text and Image in Recent American Indian Literature and Art, Dean Rader

20. The Indigenous Novel, Sean Kicummah Teuton

21. Indigenous Children's Literature, Loriene Roy

22. Red Dead Conventions: American Indian Transgenric Fictions, Jodi Byrd

Part III - Methods

23. Contested Images, Contested Lands: The Politics of Space in Louise Erdrich's Tracks and Leslie Marmon Silko's Sacred Water Shari Huhndorf

24. Decolonizing Comparison: Towards a Trans-Indigenous Literary Studies, Chadwick Allen

25. Indigenous Trans/Nationalism and the Ethics of Theory in Native Literary Studies, Joseph Bauerkemper

26. Beyond Continuance: Criticism of Indigenous Literatures in Canada, Sam


27. All that is Native and Fine: Teaching Native American Literature, Frances Washburn

28. Teaching Native Literature in a Multi-Ethnic Classroom, Channette Romero

29. Between 'Colonizer-Perpetrator' and 'Colonizer-Ally': Towards a Pedagogy of Redress, Renate Eigenbrod

30. Vine Deloria, Jr. and the Spacemen, Craig Womack

31. A basket is a basket because...: telling a Native rhetorics story, Malea Powell

32. The Making and Remaking of the Mestiza: New Tribalism and the Expression of an Indigenous Identity in the Work of Gloria Anzaldua, Domino Renee Perez

Part IV - Geographies

33. Literature and the Red Atlantic, Jace Weaver

34. The Re/Presentation of the Indigenous Caribbean in Literature, Shona Jackson

35. Writing and Lasting: Native Northeastern Literary History, Lisa Brooks

36. Decolonizing the Indigenous Oratures and Literatures of Northern British North America and Canada (Beginnings to 1960), Margery Fee

37. Indigenous Literature and Other Verbal Arts, Canada (1960-2012), Warren Cariou

38. Amerika Samoa: Writing Home, Caroline Sinavaiana Gabbard

39. Native Literatures of Alaska, James Ruppert

40. The Popol Wuj and the Birth of Mayan Literature, Thomas Ward

41. Keeping Oklahoma Indian Territory: Alice Callahan and John Oskison (Indian Enough), Joshua B. Nelson

42. Francophone Aboriginal Literature in Quebec, Sarah Henzi


43. I ka '?lelo ke Ola, in Words is Life: Imagining the Future of Indigenous Literatures, ku'ualoha ho'omanawanui

About the author: 

James H. Cox is Associate Professor of English and the co-founder of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee) is Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Literatures and Expressive Culture and Associate Professor of First Nations Studies and English at the University of British Columbia.

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