Saturday, February 28, 2009

Suggested readings

Want to know more about the issues we'll be considering at the symposium? Looking for readings to assign in a class or use in your research? We recommend the following articles by our invited guests.

These articles are available through American Quarterly at Project Muse, Junctures, and English Studies in Canada.


Smith, Andrea and Kēhaulani Kauanui. “Native Feminisms Engage American Studies.” American Quarterly 60.2 (June 2008): 241-249.

This article kicks off a rich issue of American Quarterly from the premise that “not only is colonialism a gendered process, but so is decolonization.” Smith and Kauanui use the juxtaposition of American studies and native feminisms to productively interrogate nationalism in both its American and indigenous articulations.

Silva, Noenoe. “The Importance of Hawaiian Language Sources for Understanding the Hawaiian Past.” English Studies in Canada 30.2 (June 2004): 4-12. [Adapted from book, Aloha Betrayed, Duke University Press, 2004.]

Asking, “How is it that the history of struggle has been omitted to such a great extent from Hawaiian historiography?” Silva refutes the myth of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) passivity to American annexation through readings of Hawaiian language sources, from songs, legends and petition drives, all previously disregarded by historians of Hawai‘i.

Simpson, Audra. “From White into Red: Captivity Narratives as Alchemies of Race and Citizenship.” American Quarterly 60.2 (June 2008): 251-257.

Recalling the story of Eunice Williams, a white woman who was infamously ‘captured’ and became part of the Mohawk community in the 1700s, Simpson delves into “the gendered and raced logics that still capture women in the service of a settler project.” She posits the political recognitions and misrecognitions that exile women, in particular racialized and gendered ways, from a natal community as transhistorically operating “citizenships of grief.”

Simpson, Audra. “On Ethnographic Refusal: Indigeneity, ‘Voice,’ and Colonial Citizenship.” Junctures (December 2007): 67-80.

Here Simpson asks what anthropological work looks like when “difference is not the unit of analysis” and perspectives on indigenous ceremonies and traditions are not broken away from concerns of nationhood and struggle. As her studies of her own Mohawk communities do not fit into postcolonial or double consciousness models, but rather involve a funny “tripleness, a quadrupleness, to consciousness” that is an endless play, she theorizes what ethnographic refusals generate in discourses searching to give indigeneity ‘voice.’

Smith, Andrea. “American Studies Without America.” American Quarterly 60.2 (June 2008): 309-315.

Smith takes to task not only the native / feminist dichotomy presumed in white feminism’s overtures of inclusion of native women, but the crisis of sovereignty felt so acutely by some scholars post- 9/11 in the face of the war in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. She reminds us that Native genocide has never been against the law but has expressly been the law in the U.S. for centuries. She goes on to ask what is enabled when we do not presume that United States should or will always continue to exist, and how to build a “fun” revolution.

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