The World, the Text, and the Indian

Global Dimensions of Native American Literature

Edited by Scott Richard Lyons

Subjects: Indigenous Studies, Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism
Series: SUNY series, Native Traces
Paperback : 9781438464442, 346 pages, January 2018
Hardcover : 9781438464459, 346 pages, April 2017

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Jace Weaver


Introduction: Globalizing the Word
Scott Richard Lyons

1. Empire Treasons: White Earth and the Great War
Gerald Vizenor

2. Native American Literary Criticism in Global Context
Arnold Krupat

3. “Between Friends and Enemies”: Moving Books and Locating Native Critique in Early Colonial America
Matt Cohen

4. “The Search Engine”: Traversing the Local and the Global in the Native Archive
Phillip H. Round

5. Migrations to Modernity: The Many Voices of George Copway’s Running Sketches of Men and Places, in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Scotland
Scott Richard Lyons

6. Emerging from the Background: Photographic Conventions, Stereotypes, and the Ordinariness of the Indian
Kate Flint

7. Reading Global Indigenous Resistance in Simon Ortiz’s Fight Back
Eric Cheyfitz

8. Productive Tensions: Trans/national, Trans-/Indigenous
Chadwick Allen

9. “The Right to Enjoy All Human Rights”: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Potential for Decolonial Cosmopolitanism
Elvira Pulitano

Shari M. Huhndorf


Advances critical conversations in Native American literary studies by situating its subject in global, transnational, and modernizing contexts.


Since the rise of the Native American Renaissance in literature and culture during the American civil rights period, a rich critical discourse has been developed to provide a range of interpretive frameworks for the study, recovery, and teaching of Native American literary and cultural production. For the past few decades the dominant framework has been nationalism, a critical perspective placing emphasis on specific tribal nations and nationalist concepts. While this nationalist intervention has produced important insights and questions regarding Native American literature, culture, and politics, it has not always attended to the important fact that Native texts and writers have also always been globalized. The World, the Text, and the Indian breaks from this framework by examining Native American literature not for its tribal-national significance but rather its connections to global, transnational, and cosmopolitan forces. Essays by leading scholars in the field assume that Native American literary and cultural production is global in character; even claims to sovereignty and self-determination are made in global contexts and influenced by global forces. Spanning from the nineteenth century to the present day, these analyses of theories, texts, and methods—from trans-indigenous to cosmopolitan, George Copway to Sherman Alexie, and indigenous feminism to book history—interrogate the dialects of global indigeneity and settler colonialism in literary and visual culture.

Scott Richard Lyons is Associate Professor of English and Director of Native American Studies at the University of Michigan and the author of X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent.


"…a noteworthy contribution to the fields of Native studies, transnationalist American studies and postcolonialism … Lyons's collection of critical essays is one of those few that are worthwhile reading from the first page to the last. " — Amerikastudien / American Studies