Culture-to-culture encounters between “natives” and “aliens” have gone on for centuries in the American Southwest—among American Indian tribes, between American Indians and Euro-Americans, and even, according to some, between humans and extraterrestrials at Roswell, New Mexico. Drawing on a wide range of cultural productions including novels, films, paintings, comic strips, and historical studies, this groundbreaking book explores the Southwest as both a real and a culturally constructed site of migration and encounter, in which the very identities of “alien” and “native” shift with each act of travel.
Eric Anderson pursues his inquiry through an unprecedented range of cultural texts. These include the Roswell spacecraft myths, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead, Wendy Rose’s poetry, the outlaw narratives of Billy the Kid, Apache autobiographies by Geronimo and Jason Betzinez, paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, New West history by Patricia Nelson Limerick, Frank Norris’ McTeague, Mary Austin’s The Land of Little Rain, Sarah Winnemucca’s Life Among the Piutes, Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, George Herriman’s modernist comic strip Krazy Kat, and A. A. Carr’s Navajo-vampire novel Eye Killers.
Anderson, an English professor at the University of Oklahoma specializing in Native American literature, explores aspects of the literature of the Southwestern United States. Special attention is paid to encounters between the many cultures of the area: various Native American tribes, Euro-American groups, and, in Roswell, NM, even extraterrestrials. Anderson analyzes a wide range of "cultural texts," from George Herriman's Krazy Kat comic strip and Geronimo's autobiography to the novels of Leslie Marmon Silko, Willa Cather, and A.A. Carr. Anderson explores a range of conceptions of the Southwest in this thoughtful and complex work while incorporating myriad scholarly references into the text. Recommended for academic libraries.--Gwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces
Introduction. Migration and Displacement in the American Southwest
Chapter One. Mobile Homes: Migration and Resistance in American Indian Literature
Chapter Two. Unsettling Frontiers: Billy the Kid and the Outlaw Southwest
Chapter Three. Outlawing Apaches: Geronimo and Jason Betzinez
Chapter Four. Photography as Resistance in Almanac of the Dead
Chapter Five. Indian Detours, or, Where the Indians Aren't: Management and Preservation in the Euro-American Southwest
Chapter Six. Driven to Extraction: McTeague in the Desert
Chapter Seven. Mary Austin, Sarah Winnemucca, and the Problems of Authority
Chapter Eight. Cleaning out the House: Tom Outland, Dead Indians, and the First World War
Chapter Nine. Krazy Kat I: Contexts and Crossings
Chapter Ten. Krazy Kat II: Navajo Aesthetics
Conclusion. Cross-Purposes and Purposeful Crossings