For many Native American writers who have histories associated with the southern United States, the legacies of removal and genocide rooted in these geographies make claiming oneself as also "southern" a complex and sometimes problematic gesture. Indeed, scholars in both southern and Native studies are only recently coming up with useful ways of describing, interpreting, and reconciling their complicated relationships with each other. Recent work in both southern and Native studies places the two fields into more direct conversation with one another and has helped to move both beyond one-dimensional, nostalgic formulations. This article aims to provide a survey of the foundations already laid in Native South studies and to synthesize and build on the tradition with newer texts and lines of inquiry: How is southern identity in general defined (and should it be)? Do Native-authored texts differ in their discussion of identity from non-Native-authored texts? What shared aesthetic characteristics do Native South texts reflect, and do they diverge from those of Indigenous literature more broadly? This essay concludes that as long as issues of race and racism continue to polarize and divide America, then the American South—arguably the birthplace of these peculiar American problems—might well be the place where the solution can be born.


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pp. 10-29
Launched on MUSE
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