- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Expected online publication date: August 2020
- Print publication year: 2020
- Online ISBN: 9781108699419
Native American literature has always been uniquely embattled. It is marked by divergent opinions about what constitutes authenticity, sovereignty, and even literature. It announces a culture beset by paradox: simultaneously primordial and postmodern; oral and inscribed; outmoded and novel. Its texts are a site of political struggle, shifting to meet external and internal expectations. This Cambridge History endeavors to capture and question the contested character of Indigenous texts and the way they are evaluated. It delineates significant periods of literary and cultural development in four sections: “Traces & Removals” (pre-1870s); “Assimilation and Modernity” (1879-1967); “Native American Renaissance” (post-1960s); and “Visions & Revisions” (21st century). These rubrics highlight how Native literatures have evolved alongside major transitions in federal policy toward the Indian, and via contact with broader cultural phenomena such, as the American Civil Rights movement. There is a balance between a history of canonical authors and traditions, introducing less-studied works and themes, and foregrounding critical discussions, approaches, and controversies.