1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature

Edited By

Deborah L. Madsen

ISBN 9781138020603
Published October 26, 2015 by Routledge
550 Pages

USD $260.00

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature engages the multiple scenes of tension — historical, political, cultural, and aesthetic — that constitutes a problematic legacy in terms of community identity, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, language, and sovereignty in the study of Native American literature. This important and timely addition to the field provides context for issues that enter into Native American literary texts through allusions, references, and language use.

The volume presents over forty essays by leading and emerging international scholars and analyses:

  • regional, cultural, racial and sexual identities in Native American literature
  • key historical moments from the earliest period of colonial contact to the present
  • worldviews in relation to issues such as health, spirituality, animals, and physical environments
  • traditions of cultural creation that are key to understanding the styles, allusions, and language of Native American Literature
  • the impact of differing literary forms of Native American literature.

This collection provides a map of the critical issues central to the discipline, as well as uncovering new perspectives and new directions for the development of the field. It supports academic study and also assists general readers who require a comprehensive yet manageable introduction to the contexts essential to approaching Native American Literature. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the past, present and future of this literary culture.

Contributors: Joseph Bauerkemper, Susan Bernardin, Susan Berry Brill de Ramírez, Kirby Brown, David J. Carlson, Cari M. Carpenter, Eric Cheyfitz, Tova Cooper, Alicia Cox, Birgit Däwes, Janet Fiskio, Earl E. Fitz, John Gamber, Kathryn N. Gray, Sarah Henzi, Susannah Hopson, Hsinya Huang, Brian K. Hudson, Bruce E. Johansen, Judit Ágnes Kádár, Amelia V. Katanski, Susan Kollin, Chris LaLonde, A. Robert Lee, Iping Liang, Drew Lopenzina, Brandy Nālani McDougall, Deborah Madsen, Diveena Seshetta Marcus, Sabine N. Meyer, Carol Miller, David L. Moore, Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Mark Rifkin, Kenneth M. Roemer, Oliver Scheiding, Lee Schweninger, Stephanie A. Sellers, Kathryn W. Shanley, Leah Sneider, David Stirrup, Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr., Tammy Wahpeconiah

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Indigenous Contexts of "Native." "American." "Literature.", Deborah Madsen


1. Indigenous American Literature: The Inter-American Hemispheric Perspective, Earl E. Fitz

2. Alaska Native Literature, Susan Kollin

3. American Imperialism and Pacific Literatures, Brandy Nālani McDougall

4. Clear-Cut: The Importance of Mixedblood Identities and the Promise of Native American Cosmopolitanism to Native American Literatures, Chris Lalonde

5. The Problem of Authenticity in Contemporary American "Gone Indian" Stories, Judit Ágnes Kádár

6. Indigenous Writers and the Urban Indian Experience, Carol Miller

7. Recovering a Sovereign Erotic: Two-Spirit Writers "Reclaim a Name for Ourselves", Alicia Cox

8. Indigenous Feminisms, Leah Sneider


9. U.S.-Indian Treaty-Relations and Native American Treaty Literature, David J. Carlson

10. The Marshall Trilogy and Its Legacies, Sabine N. Meyer

11. Native Letters and North-American Indian Wars, Oliver Scheiding

12. Finding Voice in Changing Times: The Politics of Native Self-Representation during the Periods of Removal and Allotment, Mark Rifkin

13. Assimilative Schooling and Native American Literature, Tova Cooper

14. Federalism Reconfigured: Native Narrations and the Indian New Deal, Joseph Bauerkemper

15. Embodied Jursigenesis: NAGPRA, Dialogue, and Repatriation in American Indian Literature, Amelia V. Katanski

16. Native American Literature and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Eric Cheyfitz


17. "That We May Stand Up and Walk Ourselves": Indian Sovereignty and Diplomacy after the Revolutionary War, Tammy Wahpeconiah

18. "What Can I Tell Them That They Will Hear": Environmental Sovereignty and American Indian Literature, Lee Schweninger

19. A Seat at the Table: Political Representation for Animals, Brian Hudson

20. Where Food Grows on Water: Food Sovereignty and Indigenous North American Literatures, Janet Fiskio

21. (Alter)Native Medicine and Health Sovereignty: Disease and Healing in Contemporary Native American Writings, Hsinya Huang

22. Religious Sovereignty and the Ghost Dance in Native American Fiction, Susannah Hopson

23. Native American Activism and Survival: Political, Legal, Cultural, Bruce E. Johansen

24. Identity, Culture, Community and Nation: Literary Theory as Politics and Praxis, Kirby Brown


25. Indigenous Literacy and Language, Birgit Brander Rasmussen

26. Native American Voices in Colonial North America, Kathryn N. Gray

27. Early Native American Writing, Drew Lopenzina

28. The Historical and Literary Role of Folklore, Storytelling, and the Oral Tradition in Native American Literatures, Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez

29. Spinning the Binary: Visual Cultures and Literary Aesthetics, David Stirrup

30. Indigenous Hermeneutics through Ceremony: Song, Language, and Dance, Diveena S. Marcus

31. Native American Intellectuals: Moundbuilders of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Cari M. Carpenter


32. Crossing the Bering Strait: Transpacific Turns and Native Literatures, Iping Liang

33. Reverse Assimilation: Native Appropriations of Euro-American Conventions, Kenneth M. Roemer

34. From As-Told-To Stories to Indigenous Communal Narratives, Stephanie A. Sellers

35. Native Short Story: Authorships, Styles, A. Robert Lee

36. "A New Legacy for Future Generations": Native North American Performance and Drama, Birgit Däwes

37. Native American Poetry: Loosening the Bonds of Representation, Kathryn W. Shanley & David L. Moore

38. Native American Novels: The Renaissance, the Homing Plot, and Beyond, John Gamber

39. Film in the Blood, Something in The Eye: Voice and Vision in Native American Cinema, Theodore Van Alst, Jr.

40. Indigenous Uncanniness: Windigo Revisited and Popular Culture, Sarah Henzi

41. Future Pasts: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Digital Media, Susan Bernardin

Further Reading

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Deborah L. Madsen is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.


"... an invaluable resource. Summing Up: Recommended."

- R. Welburn, University of Massachusetts Amherst in CHOICE

"Another invigorating aspect of several essays in the collection is the manner in which they reveal a wealth of complexity and diversity within the literature and the attendant literary criticism. As a body, these entries reflect on a great number of the opinions, traditions and debates found in Indian Country. The effect is to offer the reader
a rich and dynamic consideration of the nuances that exist within the field as a whole."

- Wasafiri, 32:2