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Trans-Indigenous

Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies

2012
Author:

Chadwick Allen

Trans-Indigenous

Uncovering the wealth of Indigenous self-representation through juxtaposition of genres, cultures, histories, and geographies

In Trans-Indigenous, Chadwick Allen proposes methodologies for a global Native literary studies based on focused comparisons of diverse texts, contexts, and traditions in order to foreground the richness of Indigenous self-representation and the complexity of Indigenous agency. The result is a provocative reorienting of the call for Native intellectual, artistic, and literary sovereignty that fully prioritizes the global Indigenous.

Chadwick Allen’s articulation of a trans-Indigenous methodology is clear-minded, robust, and urgent. A committed focus on specific texts is underpinned by deep and genuinely reflective intellectual, ethical, and political commitments. Trans-Indigenous both emphasizes and will be a key player in the configuration of global Indigenous literary studies; yet it is able, through its sheer specificity, to speak provocatively and productively beyond a singular discipline or nation.

Alice Te Punga Somerville, Victoria University of Wellington

What might be gained from reading Native literatures from global rather than exclusively local perspectives of Indigenous struggle? In Trans-Indigenous, Chadwick Allen proposes methodologies for a global Native literary studies based on focused comparisons of diverse texts, contexts, and traditions in order to foreground the richness of Indigenous self-representation and the complexity of Indigenous agency.

Through demonstrations of distinct forms of juxtaposition—across historical periods and geographical borders, across tribes and nations, across the Indigenous–settler binary, across genre and media—Allen reclaims aspects of the Indigenous archive from North America, Hawaii, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australia that have been largely left out of the scholarly conversation. He engages systems of Indigenous aesthetics—such as the pictographic discourse of Plains Indian winter counts, the semiotics of Navajo weaving, and Maori carving traditions, as well as Indigenous technologies like large-scale North American earthworks and Polynesian ocean-voyaging waka—for the interpretation of contemporary Indigenous texts. The result is a provocative reorienting of the call for Native intellectual, artistic, and literary sovereignty that fully prioritizes the global Indigenous.

Trans-Indigenous

Chadwick Allen is professor of English and coordinator of American Indian studies at The Ohio State University. He is the author of Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts.

Trans-Indigenous

Chadwick Allen’s articulation of a trans-Indigenous methodology is clear-minded, robust, and urgent. A committed focus on specific texts is underpinned by deep and genuinely reflective intellectual, ethical, and political commitments. Trans-Indigenous both emphasizes and will be a key player in the configuration of global Indigenous literary studies; yet it is able, through its sheer specificity, to speak provocatively and productively beyond a singular discipline or nation.

Alice Te Punga Somerville, Victoria University of Wellington

An ambitious study commendable for representing the direction Allen’s thinking is headed. Recommended.

CHOICE

Trans-Indigenous develops responsive and responsible scholarship by working across tribes and nations. Allen’s challenging and insightful work deserves much praise and will undoubtedly please a large readership.

College Literature

Readers will grapple with how settler colonialism impacts the methodological promise of the trans- as they benefit from the scope of Allen’s expansive vision for the possibilities of global Native literary studies.

Journal of Colonialism & Colonial History

Thought provoking and engaging, Allen’s ambitious Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies takes up the aesthetic, cultural, political, and literary debates surrounding global formulations of indigenous literatures.

AlterNative

Chadwick Allen’s Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies is a wonderfully lucid and exhaustively researched examination of Indigenous responses to colonialism in North America and around the world.

Western American Literature

Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies is vital and timely, and holds both inspiring pointers to a larger project of comparative studies among Indigenous cultural texts, and provocative juxtaposed readings of particular texts.

Journal of New Zealand Literature

Trans-Indigenous

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Ands turn Comparative turn Trans-

Part I. Recovery/Interpretation
1. “Being” Indigenous “Now”: Resettling “The Indian Today” within and beyond the U.S. 1960s
2. Unsettling the Spirit of ’76: American Indians Anticipate the U.S. Bicentennial

Part II. Interpretation/Recovery
3. Pictographic, Woven, Carved: Engaging N. Scott Momaday’s “Carnegie, Oklahoma, 1919” through Multiple Indigenous Aesthetics
4. Indigenous Languaging: Empathy and Translation across Alphabetic, Aural, and Visual Texts
5. Siting Earthworks, Navigating Waka: Patterns of Indigenous Settlement in Allison Hedge Coke’s Blood Run and Robert Sullivan’s Star Waka

Notes
Bibliography
Index