Sovereign Selves: American Indian Autobiography and the Law

Sovereign Selves: American Indian Autobiography and the Law

by David J. Carlson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0252072669

ISBN-13: 9780252072666

Pub. Date: 11/15/2005

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

"This book is an exploration of the surprising impact of American legal systems from the Revolutionary War until the 1920s on Indian autobiographers' approaches to writing about their own lives. Historically, Native American autobiographers have written in the shadow of "Indian law," a nuanced form of natural law discourse with its own set of related institutions and…  See more details below

Overview

"This book is an exploration of the surprising impact of American legal systems from the Revolutionary War until the 1920s on Indian autobiographers' approaches to writing about their own lives. Historically, Native American autobiographers have written in the shadow of "Indian law," a nuanced form of natural law discourse with its own set of related institutions and forms (the reservation, the treaty etc.). In Sovereign Selves, David J. Carlson develops a rigorously historicized argument about the relationship between the specific colonial model of "Indian" identity that was developed and disseminated through U.S. legal institutions, and the acts of autobiographical self-definition by the "colonized" Indians expected to fit that model." Carlson argues that by drawing on the conventions of early colonial treaty making, nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Indian autobiographers sought to adapt and redefine the terms of Indian law as a way to assert specific property-based and civil rights. Focusing primarily on the autobiographical careers of two major writers (William Apess and Charles Eastman), Sovereign Selves traces the way that their sustained engagement with colonial legal institutions gradually enabled them to produce a new rhetoric of "Indianness".

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252072666
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
11/15/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Table of Contents

1The discourse of Indian law15
2Seneca politics and the rhetoric of engagement39
3William Apess and the constraints of conversion66
4William Apess and Indian liberalism91
5Charles Eastman and the discourse of allotment122
6Charles Eastman and the rights of character152
Conclusion : toward self-sovereignty171

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