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  • From the Editors
  • Daniel Heath Justice and James H. Cox

This issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures marks a historical milestone in our field and a personal crossroads for us. Regarding the former, SAIL has been the primary scholarly venue for the study of Indigenous literatures of the United States and Canada now for thirty years. Along with the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures, the journal has helped to shape the contours of this vibrant field, opening up critical conversations between readers, community members, and scholars, and it has made a growing audience aware of texts and authors that had often been forgotten by time and scholarship.

On a more personal note, we come on board as coeditors of the journal having been influenced by its presence from the very beginning of our work in Native literature. As graduate students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, under the fine tutelage of our mentors Frances W. Kaye and, later, the inimitable Malea Powell (Eastern Miami-Shawnee), we were among the first generation of graduate students who could take a degree that was entirely focused on Native literary studies. We each saw our first published essays find print in the pages of SAIL, and we have served in various capacities with both the journal and the association since that time. We count among the SAIL/ASAIL community some of our closest friends and most influential intellectual mentors, as well as a growing group of younger scholars who continue to give us great hope for the future intellectual rigor, ethical engagement, and imaginative range of the field. [End Page vii]

It is thus with a mingled sense of excitement and accountability that we begin our tenure as coeditors of SAIL. With new editors comes a new direction, a new vision, but certain things have not changed from the strong intellectual foundation put in place by Malea Powell, John Purdy, and the other editors who came before us. We’re still very much committed to publishing the best scholarship being written today and to furthering the vital critical conversations and debates that have been so important to the healthy development of what is arguably one of the most provocative, contentious, and demanding fields in literary studies. We’re still committed to the journal serving as a link between the work of critics, Indigenous writers, and Indigenous communities. And we’re still committed to being a venue for both emerging scholars and more established critics to engage in constructive discussions from various interpretive perspectives.

Our editorial emphasis will be on those discussions and in having SAIL serve not just as a site of scholarly publication but as a space of debate and analysis where readers can take the current pulse of the critical conversations in the field. We want readers to be fully engaged, both intellectually and emotionally. We envision a battered and well-worn journal with articles that are dog-eared, coffee stained, and scribbled in; with issues that end up thrown against the wall or given to friends, colleagues, family members, and students; with ideas that cause people to question, to argue, to laugh, to understand. We want every issue to have at least one article, interview, commentary, or review that stays with you, that makes you look at the texts or ideas differently than you did before you picked it up. We want to start the next thirty-year publishing cycle with a gaze that looks at the ideas of today as well as those of yesterday and tomorrow, for we’re in an exciting time in the field, and there’s a lot to be talking about.

Toward those ends, and because of the increasing volume of work required by the journal, we’ve separated the editorship into two offices: one to focus on the submission and review side of the work and the other to focus on the publication and printing process. Daniel has been greatly assisted in the former by the very [End Page viii] organized Kyle Wyatt, a PhD student at the University of Toronto with whom many of you have already had the pleasure of corresponding; if you haven’t heard from him...


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