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  • From the EditorScope and Range
  • Chadwick Allen

This first issue of volume 28 demonstrates the vitality of contemporary Native American and Indigenous literary studies: the wide scope of current scholarly and creative research in the field, the broad range of current critical methodologies. In the opening essay, Paul Worley combines transhemispheric approaches to the study of Native American literatures with a focused attention to Indigenous aesthetics. Through a nuanced investigation of how contemporary Indigenous American writers as diverse as Victor Montejo from Guatemala and Leslie Silko from the United States recirculate the Yucatec Maya prophetic books of the Chilam Balam, Worley constructs a compelling argument for reading beyond the potential of the Mayan texts to serve as thematic inspiration to consider how Montejo’s and Silko’s works actually reperform versions of the books’ ancient prophecies. Next, Joseph Gaudet interrogates the increasingly pervasive critical lens of settler colonial studies through a close reading of Stephen Graham Jones’s 2008 novel Ledfeather. Highlighting the novel’s “postironic” response to the debilitating fatalism typical of orthodox scholarly approaches to settler colonialisms, Gaudet argues that Jones pushes beyond merely diagnosing the ills of the settler present to actually imagining a potential Indigenous cure for the future. Michael Taylor then directs our attention to the vital critical project of recovering and more accurately contextualizing Native American texts produced during earlier eras. Taylor focuses specifically on the modernist period of the early twentieth century, which, until quite recently, has been viewed by most scholars of the era as lacking aesthetically or politically significant Indigenous voices. In his analysis of the understudied poetry of Arthur C. Parker, E. Pauline Johnson, and Zitkala-Ša, as well as of the understudied publishing platform of the American Indian Magazine, [End Page vii] Taylor reinserts Indigenous writers and Indigenous venues into modernism’s archive and questions many of the basic tenets of modernism’s standard critical conversation on the Indigenous. Finally, Monacan poet Karenne Wood offers insight into the processes of archival research and historical analysis that inform her contemporary creative practice. Her writer’s essay is followed by a set of poems in which Wood (re)imagines the personas of significant (Native) American women from the historical past, Pocahontas and Mary Jemisen, in order to better understand how these complex figures continue to haunt understandings of Indigenous women in the present. [End Page viii]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9590
Print ISSN
0730-3238
Pages
pp. vii-viii
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-14
Open Access
No
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