Injun Joe's Ghost: The Indian Mixed-Blood in American Writing

Injun Joe's Ghost: The Indian Mixed-Blood in American Writing

by Harry J. Brown
     
 

ISBN-10: 0826215300

ISBN-13: 9780826215307

Pub. Date: 07/28/2004

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

What does it mean to be a “mixed-blood,” and how has our understanding of this term changed over the last two centuries? What processes have shaped American thinking on racial blending? Why has the figure of the mixed-blood, thought too offensive for polite conversation in the nineteenth century, become a major representative of twentieth-century native

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Overview

What does it mean to be a “mixed-blood,” and how has our understanding of this term changed over the last two centuries? What processes have shaped American thinking on racial blending? Why has the figure of the mixed-blood, thought too offensive for polite conversation in the nineteenth century, become a major representative of twentieth-century native consciousness?

In Injun Joe’s Ghost, Harry J. Brown addresses these questions within the interrelated contexts of anthropology, U.S. Indian policy, and popular fiction by white and mixed-blood writers, mapping the evolution of “hybridity” from a biological to a cultural category. Brown traces the processes that once mandated the mixed-blood’s exile as a grotesque or criminal outcast and that have recently brought about his ascendance as a cultural hero in contemporary Native American writing.

Because the myth of the demise of the Indian and the ascendance of the Anglo-Saxon is traditionally tied to America’s national idea, nationalist literature depicts Indian-white hybrids in images of degeneracy, atavism, madness, and even criminality. A competing tradition of popular writing, however, often created by mixed-blood writers themselves, contests these images of the outcast half-breed by envisioning “hybrid vigor,” both biologically and linguistically, as a model for a culturally heterogeneous nation.

Injun Joe’s Ghost focuses on a significant figure in American history and culture that has, until now, remained on the periphery of academic discourse. Brown offers an in-depth discussion of many texts, including dime novels and Depression-era magazine fiction, that have been almost entirely neglected by scholars. This volume also covers texts such as the historical romances of the 1820s and the novels of the twentieth-century “Native American Renaissance” from a fresh perspective. Investigating a broad range of genres and subject over two hundred year of American writing, Injun Joe’s Ghost will be useful to students and professionals in the fields of American literature, popular culture, and native studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826215307
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
07/28/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introduction
Sunday Morning, 181
The Invisible Indian3
Hybridity, Alternation, and Simultaneity7
The Murderin' Half-Breed in Tom Sawyer12
Racial Amity in Reuben and Rachel16
Methods and Overview20
1Miscegenation and Degeneracy in Antebellum Historical Romance
Magua's Horrid Alternative27
National Literature and the Vanishing Indian30
Jefferson, Buffon, and the Marriage of Races33
Gothic Degeneracy and Edgar Huntly40
The Last of the Mohicans45
Hope Leslie50
Hobomok56
A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison62
William Apess and the Children of Adam73
A Resemblance and a Menace82
2Homo Criminalis and Half-Breed Outlaws in the Dime Western
What Will We Do with Them?85
Malaeska92
The Half-Breed and the Hybrid Grotesque99
The Half-Breed as Homo Criminalis104
Redlaw111
The Half-Blood117
The White Squaw123
John Rollin Ridge and Joaquin Murieta129
Ramona134
The Problem of Assimilation145
3From Biological to Cultural Hybridity in Cogewea, Sundown, and Twentieth-Century Magazine Fiction
Yukon Burial Ground150
Nostalgia and Degenerationism158
Race as Biology in the Saturday Evening Post166
The Test of Language, Redefinition, and Reorganization173
Oliver La Farge's Navajo Stories181
Hybrid Subjectivity in Cogewea190
Problems of Assimilation and Authenticity in Sundown205
Epilogue: Contemporary Reflections on Mixed Descent
What Is Indian?219
D'Arcy McNickle's Tribalism226
N. Scott Momaday's Word of Creation230
Interwoven Beadwork in Erdrich's The Antelope Wife235
Reconsidering Race240
Bibliography247
Index261

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