Why Indigenous Literatures Matter
Paper 165 pp.
Release Date: Forthcoming
Online discount: 25%
Part survey of the field of Indigenous literary studies, part cultural
history, and part literary polemic, Why Indigenous Literatures
Matter asserts the vital significance of literary expression to
the political, creative, and intellectual efforts of Indigenous peoples
today. In considering the connections between literature and lived
experience, this book contemplates four key questions at the heart
of Indigenous kinship traditions: How do we learn to be human? How
do we become good relatives? How do we become good ancestors? How
do we learn to live together? Blending personal narrative and broader
historical and cultural analysis with close readings of key creative
and critical texts, Justice argues that Indigenous writers engage
with these questions in part to challenge settler-colonial policies
and practices that have targeted Indigenous connections to land, history,
family, and self. More importantly, Indigenous writers imaginatively
engage the many ways that communities and individuals have sought
to nurture these relationships and project them into the future.
This provocative volume challenges readers to critically consider and rethink their assumptions about Indigenous literature, history, and politics while never forgetting the emotional connections of our shared humanity and the power of story to effect personal and social change. Written with a generalist reader firmly in mind, but addressing issues of interest to specialists in the field, this book welcomes new audiences to Indigenous literary studies while offering more seasoned readers a renewed appreciation for these transformative literary traditions.
Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at the University of British Columbia. A widely published scholar in Indigenous literary studies, he is the co-editor of the groundbreaking Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (2014) and author of a Cherokee literary history, a cultural history of badgers, and an Indigenous epic fantasy series.