This Introduction makes available for both student, instructor, and affcianado a refined set of tools for decolonizing our approaches prior to entering the unfamiliar landscape of Native American literatures. This book will introduce indigenous perspectives and traditions as articulated by indigenous authors whose voices have been a vital, if often overlooked, component of the American dialogue for over 400 years. Paramount to this consideration of Native-centered reading is the understanding that literature was not something bestowed upon Native peoples by the settler culture either through benevolent interventions or violent programs of forced assimilation. Native literature precedes colonization and Native stories and traditions have their roots in both the precolonized and the decolonizing worlds. As this far-reaching survey of Native literary contributions will demostrate, almost without fail, when indigenous writers elected to enter into the world of western letters, they did so with the intention of maintaining indigenous culture and community. Writing was and always remains a strategy for survival.
Introduction to the Introduction
Chapter 1 - Oral Encounters: Moving the Forest and Rocks by Song
Chapter 2 - "Still the Same Unbelieving Indian": Native Voices in the Emerging Republic
Chapter 3 - Red Progressives and Indian Passwords
Chapter 4 - Sunset, Sunrise: The American Indian Novel and the Dawning of the Native American Literary Renaissance
Chapter 5 - "Many of Our Songs Are Maps": Poetry in the Native American Literary Renaissance and Beyond
Chapter 6 - "Every One of those Stars has a Story": Narrative and Nationhood
Chapter 7 - Teaching Louise Erdrich’s Tracks: A Case Study
Conclusion: Greetings from Standing Rock
Routledge Introductions to American Literature provide critical introductions to the most important topics in American Literature, outlining the key literary, historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts. Providing students with an analysis of the most up-to-date trends and debates in the area, they also highlight exciting new directions within the field and open the way for further study. Volumes examine the ways in which both canonical and lesser known writers from diverse class and cultural backgrounds have shaped American literary traditions, addressing key contemporary and theoretical debates, and giving attention to a range of voices and experiences as a vital part of American life. These comprehensive volumes offer readable, cohesive narratives of the development of American Literature and provide ideal introductions for students.