Ethnicity Studies · graduate school · Native American Studies

The Irony of “Preservation”

I have little to say, so far. I’ve just started reading Cogewea: The Half-Blood by Mourning Dove (Hum-Ishu-Ma). The introduction discusses her relationship with Lucullus V. McWhorter, a “pioneer of encyclopedic interests.”  McWhorter encouraged Mourning Dove in her efforts as a writer, and she became the first recognized American Indian woman to write a novel. McWhorter, however,…… Continue reading The Irony of “Preservation”

Ethnicity Studies · graduate school · Native American Studies · personal · Writing

The problem with “real”

I’m becoming irritated with the over-usage of the adjective “real.” It gets attached to so many things. “Real men express their feelings.” “Real women have curves.” “Real adults take responsibility for their actions.” So, men who can’t express themselves aren’t real? Thin women aren’t real? Irresponsible adults aren’t real? What does that mean? Because these…… Continue reading The problem with “real”

Ethnicity Studies · Politics of Education · Teaching

Empathy, and recognizing humanity

“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin has to be one of my favorite stories, and it paired perfectly today with my need to discuss racism with my students. There’s a line where the narrator says, “My trouble made his real.” And, later, Sonny says, “And I don’t know how I played, thinking about it now, but…… Continue reading Empathy, and recognizing humanity

Ethnicity Studies · graduate school · Politics of Education · Writing

Writerly Angst and Grappling with My Privilege

I’ve been unable to write much lately. Part of that is because of my depression and anxiety issues. Part of it is grad school burn out. Part of it is doubting the usefulness of my life’s pursuit. Part of it just comes from being overwhelmed with teacherly duties. And, part of it stems from the…… Continue reading Writerly Angst and Grappling with My Privilege

Ethnicity Studies · Native American Studies · Writing

The Violence of Language

In the fifth chapter of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza she features, among others, this epigraph: Who is to say that robbing a people of its language is less violent than war? — Ray Gywn Smith In light of my last post, and Zitkala-Ša’s definition of language as a convenience, Anzaldúa’s words offer quite a…… Continue reading The Violence of Language

Ethnicity Studies · Native American Studies

“Language is only a convenience”: Zitkala-Ša and Empowerment Rhetoric

Zitkala-Ša, a staunch advocate for the rights of Native Americans in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, said,We sometimes think we cannot speak the English language well and we cannot talk in the conference. That is not it. You can tell us what is in your heart. Use the words that are put in  your…… Continue reading “Language is only a convenience”: Zitkala-Ša and Empowerment Rhetoric

Ethnicity Studies · graduate school · Politics of Education

Indians in Expected Places: Musings on Deloria and Canon Formation

I finished reading, not that long ago, Philip J. Deloria’s Indians in Unexpected Places. While I have known for a while that American Indians (and, really indigenous peoples all over the world) have had a larger role in cultural development and have participated in popular culture such as films, athletics, and music much more than…… Continue reading Indians in Expected Places: Musings on Deloria and Canon Formation

Ethnicity Studies · graduate school

I’m reading Scott Richard Lyons’ book X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent this week. That, along with his articles,  “Actually Existing Indians Nations: Modernity, Diversity, and the Future of Native American Studies.”  [American Indian Quarterly 35.3 (2011): 294-312] and “Rhetorical Sovereignty: What do American Indians Want from Writing?” [CCC 51.3 (2000): 447-468] have broadened the way I think about Native…… Continue reading