Native American Perspectives on Literature and History is a volume of essays by Indian and white scholars on issues such as ethnic identity, Indians in American mythology, how Indians write about Indians, and Indian crime and punishment.
- James Ruppert explores the bicultural nature of Indian writers and discusses strategies they employ in addressing several audiences at once: their tribe, other Indians, and other Americans.
- Helen Jaskoski analyzes the genre of autoethnography, or Indian historical writing, in an Ottawa writer's account of a smallpox epidemic.
- Kimberly Blaeser, a Chippewa, writes about how Indian writers reappropriate their history and stories of their land and people.
- Robert Allen Warrior, an Osage, examines the ideas of the leading Indian philosopher in America, Vine Deloria, Jr., who calls for a return to traditional tribal religions.
- Robert Berner exposes the incomplete myths and false legends pervading Indian views of American history.
- Alan Velie discusses the issue of historical objectivity in two Indian historical novels, James Welch's Fools Crow and Gerald Vizenor's The Heirs of Columbus.
- Kurt M. Peters relates how Laguna Indians retained their culture and identity while living in the boxcars of the Santa Fe Railroad Indian Village at Richmond, California.
- Juana Maria Rodriguez examines power relations in Gerald Vizenor's narrative of a Dakota Indian accused of murder in 1967, "Thomas White Hawk." Finally,
- Gerald Vizenor, a Chippewa, discusses Indian conceptions of identity in contemporary America, including simulations he calls "postindian identity."
Editor Alan Velie, with Gerald Vizenor, provides an introduction to this volume of essays by the country's leading Indian and white scholars of Indian literature and history. It will be essential reading for those seeking to understand Native American approaches to fiction and history.
About the Author
Alan R. Velie is David Ross Boyd Professor in the English Department at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of more than forty articles and three books and the editor of eight books, including the anthology American Indian Literature.