1st Edition

Indigenous Bodies, Cells, and Genes
Biomedicalization and Embodied Resistance in Native American Literature




ISBN 9780367478520
Published October 9, 2020 by Routledge
278 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book explores Native American literary responses to biomedical discourses and biomedicalization processes as they circulate in social and cultural contexts.

Native American communities resist reductivism of biomedicine that excludes Indigenous (and non-Western) epistemologies and instead draw attention to how illness, healing, treatment, and genetic research are socially constructed and dependent on inherently racialist thinking. This volume highlights how interventions into the hegemony of biomedicine are vigorously addressed in Native American literature. The book covers tuberculosis and diabetes epidemics, the emergence of Native American DNA, discoveries in biotechnology, and the problematics of a biomedical model of psychiatry. The book analyzes work by Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, LeAnne Howe, Linda Hogan, Heid E. Erdrich, Elissa Washuta and Frances Washburn.

The book will appeal to scholars of Native American and Indigenous Studies, as well as to others with an interest in literature and medicine.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Indigenizing biomedicalization: community, relationality, and embodied resistance in Native American literature

 Part I: TUBERCULOSIS

Chapter 1: Virgin soil theory, boarding schools, and medical experimentation: a history of tuberculosis among Native Americans

Chapter 2: Tuberculosis, biopower, and embodied resistance in Madonna Swan: A Lakota Woman’s Story, as told through Mark S. Pierre and Louise Erdrich’s LaRose

Part II: DIABETES

Chapter 3: Developing Indigenous models of diabetes: from genetic fatalism to community-based approaches

Chapter 4: Beyond the biomedical model of diabetes: settler colonialism, traditional foodways, and historical trauma in Sherman Alexie’s selected works and LeAnne Howe’s Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story

Part III: BLOOD AND GENES

Chapter 5: From blood memory to genetic memory, and the emergence of Native American DNA: a story of biocolonialism at the turn of the millennium

Chapter 6: "We remember our ancestors and their lives deep in our bodily cells": mapping history in space and genes in Linda Hogan’s autobiographical writing

Part IV: INDIGENIZING BIOMEDICALIZATION

Chapter 7: The traffic of cells and ideas: Heid E. Erdrich’s biotechnological poetry

Chapter 8: Biomedical psychiatry, Native American identity, and the politics of visibility in Elissa Washuta’s My Body Is a Book of Rules

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Author(s)

Biography

Joanna Ziarkowska is a Native American Studies scholar at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland, where she teaches courses devoted to Native American literature, Literature and Medicine, and Film Studies.