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Gerald Vizenor's Native Provenance challenges readers to consider the subtle ironies at the heart of Native American culture and oral traditions such as creation and trickster stories and dream songs. A respected authority in the study of Native American literature and intellectual history, Vizenor believes that the protean nature of many creation stories, with their tease and weave of ironic gestures, was lost or obfuscated in inferior translations by scholars and cultural connoisseurs, and as a result the underlying theories and presuppositions of these renditions persist in popular literature and culture. Native Provenance explores more than two centuries of such betrayal of Native creativity. With erudite and sweeping virtuosity, Vizenor examines how ethnographers and others converted the inherent confidence of Native stories into uneasy sentiments of victimry. He explores the connection between Native Americans and Jews through gossip theory and strategies of cultural survivance, and between natural motion and ordinary practices of survivance. Other topics include the unique element of Native liberty inherent in artistic milieus; the genre of visionary narratives of resistance; and the notions of historical absence, cultural nihilism, and victimry. Native Provenance is a tour de force of Native American cultural criticism ranging widely across the terrains of the artistic, literary, philosophical, linguistic, historical, ethnographic, and sociological aspects of interpreting Native stories. Native Provenance is rife with poignant and original observations and is essential reading for anyone interested in Native American cultures and literature.
In this collection of more than 200 stunning and storied
photographs, ranging from daguerreotypes to studio portraits to
snapshots, historian Bruce White explores historical images taken
of Ojibwe people through 1950 and considers the negotiation that
went on between the photographers and the photographed-and what
power the latter wielded. Ultimately, this book tells more about
the people in the pictures-what they were doing on a particular
day, how they came to be photographed, how they made use of
costumes and props-than about the photographers who documented, and
in some cases doctored, views of Ojibwe life.
Native Tributes is a sequel to Blue Ravens by Gerald Vizenor, a historical novel about Native Americans in the First World War published by Wesleyan University Press in 2014. Basile Hudon Beaulieu, a native writer, his brother Aloysius, an abstract artist, travel by train from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota to Washington, D.C. where they protest with thousands of other military veterans in the Bonus Army, and their cousin By Now Rose Beaulieu, a veteran nurse, rides her horse named Treaty to the same march during the summer of 1932. Aloysius creates hand puppets and entertains the spirited veterans with the mockery of communists and President Herbert Hoover. General Douglas McArthur routes the veterans from the National Mall, and the Beaulieu brothers move to an encampment of needy veterans in Hard Luck Town on the East River in New York City. The brothers visit the Biblo and Tanner Booksellers, a gallery owned by Alfred Stieglitz, the Modicut Puppet Theatre, and an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Aloysius is inspired by Arthur Dove, Chaim Soutine, and Marc Chagall. Native Tributes is a journey of liberty, and escapes the enticement of nostalgia and victimry. Vizenor maintains his masterly perception of oral stories, and creates a dynamic literary tribute to Native American veterans and visionary artists in the Great Depression.
Gerald Vizenor weaves an engrossing historical portrayal of Native American soldiers in World War I. 'Blue Ravens' is set at the start of the twentieth century in the days leading up to the Great War in France, and continues in combat scenes at Chateau-Thierry, Montbrehain, and Bois de Fays. The novel contains many of Vizenor's recurrent cultural themes - the power and irony of trickster stories, the privilege of 'survivance' over 'victimry', natural reason and resistance. After serving in the American Expeditionary Forces, two brothers from the Anishinaabe culture return to the White Earth Reservation where they grew up. They eventually leave for a second time to live in Paris where they lead successful and creative lives. With a spirited sense of 'chance, totemic connections, and the tricky stories of our natural transience in the world' Vizenor creates an expression of presence commonly denied Native Americans. 'Blue Ravens' is a story of courage in poverty and war, a human story of art and literature from a recognized master of the postwar American novel and one of the most original and outspoken Native voices writing today. Check for the online reader's companion at blueravens.site.wesleyan.edu.
"If you must read a book on Columbus," declared the Los Angeles
Times in its review of The Heirs of Columbus, "this is the one."
Gerald Vizenor's novel reclaims the story of Chrisopher Columbus on
behalf of Native Americans by declaring the explorer himself to be
a descendent of early Mayans and follows the adventures of his
modern-day, mixedblood heirs as they create a fantastic tribal
With wry humor and imaginative acuity, noted writer Gerald Vizenor offers compelling glimpses of modern Native American life and the different ways that Native Americans and whites interact, fight, and resolve their conflicts. The elusive borderland between white and Native American cultures is further complicated by exchanges of money, services, language, and skills that make up what Vizenor calls the "new fur trade." When Native Americans resist dominance, they fight back incisively and creatively with humor in the strategic word wars of survivance over victimry. Vizenor illuminates the troubling encounters and distant reaches of this modernist fur trade through his creative narratives. Especially memorable is the reincarnation of General George Custer as the head of Native American programs and the mystifying play of words between charity agencies and Native Americans. Several of Vizenor's stories focus on a so-called urban reservation, Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. In the last section Vizenor recalls his experiences and observations while reporting on the murder trial of a young Native American student, Thomas White Hawk, in South Dakota.
The White Earth Nation of Anishinaabeg Natives ratified in 2009 a new constitution, the first indigenous democratic constitution, on a reservation in Minnesota. Many Native constitutions were written by the federal government, and with little knowledge of the people and cultures. The White Earth Nation set out to create a constitution that reflected its own culture. The resulting document provides a clear Native perspective on sovereignty, independent governance, traditional leadership values, and the importance of individual and human rights.
This volume includes the text of the Constitution of the White
Earth Nation; an introduction by David E. Wilkins, a legal and
political scholar who was a special consultant to the White Earth
Constitutional Convention; an essay by Gerald Vizenor, the delegate
and principal writer of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation;
and articles first published in "Anishinaabeg Today" by Jill
Doerfler, who coordinated and participated in the deliberations and
ratification of the Constitution. Together these essays and the
text of the Constitution provide direct insight into the process of
the delegate deliberations, the writing and ratification of this
groundbreaking document, and the current constitutional, legal, and
political debates about new constitutions.
The concept and idea of survivance has revolutionized our understanding of the lives, creative impulses, literary practices, and histories of the Native peoples of North America. Engendered and articulated by the Anishinaabe critic and writer Gerald Vizenor, survivance throws into relief the dynamic, inventive, and enduring heart of Native cultures well beyond the colonialist trappings of absence, tragedy, and powerlessness. Vizenor argues that many people in the world are enamored with and obsessed by the concocted images of the Indian--the simulations of indigenous character and cultures as essential victims. Native survivance, on the other hand, is an active sense of presence over historical absence, deracination, and oblivion. The nature of survivance is unmistakable in Native stories, natural reason, active traditions, customs, and narrative resistance and is clearly observable in personal attributes such as humor, spirit, cast of mind, and moral courage in literature. In this anthology, eighteen scholars discuss the themes and practices of survivance in literature, examining the legacy of Vizenor's original insights and exploring the manifestations of survivance in a variety of contexts. Contributors interpret and compare the original writings of William Apess, Eric Gansworth, Louis Owens, Carter Revard, Gerald Vizenor, and Velma Wallis, among others.
Gerald Vizenor counters the cultural notions of dominance, false representations, and simulations of absence, and, by documents, experience, and theories, secures a narrative presence of Native Americans.
The best stories create traditions, and this novel by celebrated Native American writer Gerald Vizenor is a marvelous conjunction of trickster stories and literary ingenuity. Chair of Tears is funny, fierce, ironic, and deadly serious, a sendup of sacred poses, cultural pretensions, and familiar places from reservations to universities. The novel begins with generous stories about Captain Eighty, his young wife, the poker-playing genius named Quiver, and their children and grandchildren who live on a rustic houseboat. Captain Shammer, an extraordinary grandson reared on the houseboat and with no formal education, is appointed the chairman of a troubled Department of Native American Indian Studies at a prominent university. Shammer is a natural enterpriser and ironic showman in the tradition of trickster stories. He arrives at the first faculty meeting dressed in the uniform of Gen. George Armstrong Custer. Native students celebrate his conversion of the department into an academic poker parlor and casino, and a panic radio station. The most sensational enterprise is the training of service mongrels to detect the absence of irony. An irresistible novel of original ideas, Chair of Tears gets to the heart of questions about identity politics, multiculturalism, pedantry, and timely virtues.
"Hiroshima Bugi" is an ingenious kabuki novel that begins in the ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome, a new Rashomon Gate. Ronin Browne, the humane peace contender, is the hafu orphan son of Okichi, a Japanese boogie-woogie dancer, and Nightbreaker, an Anishinaabe from the White Earth Reservation who served as an interpreter for General Douglas MacArthur during the first year of the American occupation in Japan. Ronin draws on samurai and native traditions to confront the moral burdens and passive notions of nuclear peace celebrated at the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. He creates a new calendar that starts with the first use of atomic weapons, Atomu One. Ronin accosts the spirits of the war dead at Yasukuni Jinga. He then marches into the national shrine and shouts to Tojo Hideki and other war criminals to come out and face the spirits of thousands of devoted children who were sacrificed at Hiroshima. In "Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57" acclaimed Anishinaabe writer Gerald Vizenor has created a dynamic meditation on nuclear devastation and our inability to grasp fully its presence or its legacy
Gerald Vizenor was a journalist for the "Minneapolis Tribune" when he discovered that his direct ancestors were the editor and publisher of "The Progress," the first Native newspaper on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. Vizenor, inspired by the kinship of nineteenth century Native journalists, has pursued a similar sense of resistance in his reportage, editorial essays, and literary art. Vizenor reveals in "Native Liberty" the political, poetic, visionary, and ironic insights of personal identity and narratives of cultural sovereignty. He examines singular acts of resistance, natural reason, literary practices, and other strategies of survivance that evade and subvert the terminal notions of tragedy and victimry. "Native Liberty" nurtures survivance and creates a sense of cultural and historical presence. Vizenor, a renowned Anishinaabe literary scholar and artist, writes in a direct narrative style that integrates personal experiences with original presentations, comparative interpretations, and critiques of legal issues and historical situations.
Postindian Conversations is the first collection of in-depth interviews with Gerald Vizenor, one of the most powerful and provocative voices in the Native world today. These lively conversations with the preeminent novelist and cultural critic reveal much about the man, his literary creations, and his critical perspectives on important issues affecting Native peoples at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The book also casts new light on his sometimes controversial ideas about contemporary Native identity, politics, economics, scholarship, and literature. Gerald Vizenor is a professor of American Studies and Native American literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the American Book Award-winner Griever: An American Monkey King in China. A. Robert Lee is a professor of American literature at Nihon University in Tokyo. His books include Designs of Blackness: Mappings in the Literature and Culture of Afro-America. His edited works include Shadow Distance: A Gerald Vizenor Reader.
Native peoples today are best known through their fugitive poses: textual and graphic depictions steeped in a modernist aesthetic of romantic victimry, tragedy, and nostalgia. In "Fugitive Poses" Gerald Vizenor argues that such representations celebrate the absence rather than the presence of the Native.
When artist Dogroy Beaulieu is banished from the White Earth Nation in Minnesota for his provocative work, he embarks upon a long journey of creativity & coming-of-awareness that takes him to Paris, France.
Gerald Vizenor presents in this anthology some of the best
contemporary Native American Indian authors writing today. The five
books from which these excerpts are drawn are published in the
University of Nebraska Press's Native Storiers series. This series
introduces innovative, emergent, avant-garde Native literary
artists and promotes a sense of survivance over the conventional
themes of victimry, historical absence, cultural tragedy, and
separation that often accompany Native characters in popular
commercial fiction. These original narratives demonstrate a new and
distinctive aesthetic in the literature of Native American Indians.
The five Native authors in this anthology, drawing from the
practices of traditional oral storiers, create an active sense of
presence, both in the literary world, and the wider world of
Gerald Vizenor creates masterful, truthful, surreal, and satirical fiction similar to the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman. In this imagined future, seven natives are exiled from federal sectors that have replaced federal reservations; they pursue the liberty of an egalitarian government on an island in Lake of the Woods. These seven narrators, known only by native nicknames, are related to characters in Vizenor's other novels and stories. Vizenor was the principal writer of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation, and this novel is a rich and critical commentary on the abrogation of the treaty that established the White Earth Reservation in 1867, and a vivid visualization of the futuristic continuation of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation, in 2034.
Gerald Vizenor weaves an engrossing historical portrayal of Native American soldiers in World War I. Blue Ravens is set at the start of the twentieth century in the days leading up to the Great War in France, and continues in combat scenes at Chateau-Thierry, Montbrehain, and Bois de Fays. The novel contains many of Vizenor's recurrent cultural themes--the power and irony of trickster stories, the privilege of survivance over victimry, natural reason and resistance. After serving in the American Expeditionary Forces, two brothers from the Anishinaabe culture return to the White Earth Reservation where they grew up. They eventually leave for a second time to live in Paris where they lead successful and creative lives. With a spirited sense of "chance, totemic connections, and the tricky stories of our natural transience in the world," Vizenor creates an expression of presence commonly denied Native Americans. Blue Ravens is a story of courage in poverty and war, a human story of art and literature from a recognized master of the postwar American novel and one of the most original and outspoken Native voices writing today. Check for the online reader's companion at blueravens.site.wesleyan.edu.
Tells the story of a group of tribal pilgrims who journey south toward freedo after the government invades their reservation to claim their sacred trees f fuel.
In traditional tribal creation myths, the earthdiver brings up dirt from the primal water to form the earth. The contemporary earthdivers in this collection of stories are mixed bloods, in the author's words "the mournful and whimsical heirs and survivors from that premier union between the daughters of the woodland shamans and white fur traders." Now they dive in un-known urban areas connecting dreams to earth in the same way that these stories connect metaphor to realities.Scholars have defined Indian identities that are meaningful to outsiders but they are unable to explain the intuitive oral tradition of tribal consciousness. These stories attempt to convey a sense of that tradition.
Based on memory, court testimony, and other sources, this narrative recounts the experiences of the Chippewa as they met missionaries, capitalists, bureaucrats, and anthropologists.
Weaving political commentaries, cultural adventures and Chinese and Native American Indian myths into stories rich in adventure and mystery, this tale is about Griever de Hocus, a reservation-born tribal "trickster" and his accomplice who decide to go to the People's Republic of China and create havoc there by flouting the rigid conventions of socialism is a series of outrageous acts. From his hijacking of a truckload of condemned Chinese prisoners to his daring escape in an ultralight plane, Griever personifies the character of the Monkey King, the cosmic tribal "trickster" common to Chinese and Native American mythology. This book was winner of the Fiction Collective Prize and the 1988 American Book Award.
Favor of Crows is a collection of new and previously published
original haiku poems over the past forty years. Gerald Vizenor has
earned a wide and devoted audience for his poetry. In the
introductory essay the author compares the imagistic poise of haiku
with the early dream songs of the Anishinaabe, or Chippewa. Vizenor
concentrates on these two artistic traditions, and by intuition he
creates a union of vision, perception, and natural motion in
concise poems; he creates a sense of presence and at the same time
a naturalistic trace of impermanence.
In these fourteen stories Gerald Vizenor leads his crossblood characters out of romantic thickets into a new tribal world of psychotaxidermy, laser holograms, and urban ceremonies. Dancing with tricksters, animals, and language is never dangerous in this collection. With the comic pleasures of tribal tricksters, Vizenor's fantastic characters arise from the burdens of racialism and noble savagism. Martin Bear Charme, in the title story, owns a reservation and conducts seminars on refuse meditation, pantribal fantasies, and animal languages. He restores the sublime connections between the refuse and the refusers, and earns a fortune at the same time. Almost Browne, another crossblood transformer, was born in the back seat of a hatchback, matured with computers, and projects laser demons over the reservation. Other crossbloods win a summer ice sculpture contest, own sovereign sections of interstate highways, and discover instant coffee.
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