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Reconstructing the Native South: American Indian Literature and the Lost Cause (New Southern Studies)by Melanie Benson Taylor
Synopses & Reviews
In Reconstructing the Native South, Melanie Benson Taylor examines the diverse body of Native American literature in the contemporary U.S. South—literature written by the descendants of tribes who evaded Removal and have maintained ties with their southeastern homelands. In so doing Taylor advances a provocative, even counterintuitive claim: that the U.S. South and its Native American survivors have far more in common than mere geographical proximity. Both cultures have long been haunted by separate histories of loss and nostalgia, Taylor contends, and the moments when those experiences converge in explicit and startling ways have yet to be investigated by scholars. These convergences often bear the scars of protracted colonial antagonism, appropriation, and segregation, and they share preoccupations with land, sovereignty, tradition, dispossession, subjugation, purity, and violence.
Taylor poses difficult questions in this work. In the aftermath of Removal and colonial devastation, what remains—for Native and non-Native southerners—to be recovered? Is it acceptable to identify an Indian “lost cause”? Is a deep sense of hybridity and intercultural affiliation the only coherent way forward, both for the New South and for its oldest inhabitants? And in these newly entangled, postcolonial environments, has global capitalism emerged as the new enemy for the twenty-first century? Reconstructing the Native South is a compellingly original work that contributes to conversations in Native American, southern, and transnational American studies.
Book News Annotation:
Of interest to students of Native American and Southern cultural history this analysis of the effects of shared historical themes among all racial groups of the southeastern United States explores issues of identity and common narratives through the lenses of removal, the "lost cause," and the inexorable march of global capitalism. The work examines issues such as the meaning of race, tribe, and history in the age of capitalist dominance; depictions of loss across cultures; modern alliances to solve modern problems; and the future of capitalism and community. Taylor is a professor of English and Native American studies at Dartmouth College. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Dawnland Voices calls attention to the little-known but extraordinarily rich literary traditions of New Englandand#8217;s Native Americans. This pathbreaking anthology includes both classic and contemporary literary works from ten New England indigenous nations: the Abenaki, Maliseet, Miand#8217;kmaq, Mohegan, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot,and#160;Schaghticoke, and Wampanoag.
Through literary collaboration and recovery, Siobhan Senier and Native tribal historians and scholars have crafted a unique volume covering a variety of genres and historical periods. From the earliest petroglyphs and petitions to contemporary stories and hip-hop poetry, this volume highlights the diversity and strength of New England Native literary traditions. Dawnland Voices introduces readers to the compelling and unique literary heritage in New England, banishing the misconception that and#8220;realand#8221; Indians and their traditions vanished from that region centuries ago.
About the Author
Melanie Benson Taylor is an assistant professor of English and Native American studies at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Disturbing Calculations: The Economics of Identity in Postcolonial Southern Literature, 1912–2002 and Reconstructing the Native South: American Indian Literature and the Lost Cause (both Georgia).
Table of Contents
Introduction. Reconstructing the South: Region, Tribe, and Sovereignty in the Age of Global Capitalism
Chapter 1. Reconstructing Loss: Native Americans, Nostalgia, and Tribalography in Southern Literature
Chapter 2. Red, Black, and Southern: Alliances and Erasures in the Biracial South
Chapter 3. Reckoning the Future: Capitalism, Culture, and the Production of Community
Chapter 4. Excavating the World: Unearthing the Past and Finding the Future on Southern Soil
Conclusion. The South in the Indian and the Indian in the South
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