american literature · Ethnicity Studies · Ethnography · graduate school · Native American Studies · Writing

James Clifford and the Predicament of Culture

Early in my academic career, I encountered Paula Gunn Allen. A woman of Laguna-Sioux and Lebanese American heritage, she is the first indigenous studies scholar I encountered. I read her essay “Kochinnenako in Academe: Three Approaches to Interpreting a Keres Indian Tale” in my undergraduate literary and critical theory course. I was a senior, in my…… Continue reading James Clifford and the Predicament of Culture

Ethnicity Studies · graduate school · Native American Studies

Brief thoughts on Chadwick Allen’s Blood Narrative

Chadwick Allen’s Blood Narrative presents an interesting problem for me. It’s an excellent book, performing a comparison and analysis of activism and literature of American Indians and Maoris in the early contemporary period. Allen examines many of the ways that Maoris and American Indians situations differed in terms of politics, demographic, and population. The main differences for Maoris…… Continue reading Brief thoughts on Chadwick Allen’s Blood Narrative

Ethnicity Studies · graduate school · personal · Writing

Muddled Thoughts

I’m letting my mind be pulled in multiple directions right now. I say letting, because it’s deliberate. I’m deliberately working on more than one project at a time, deliberately letting myself think about work, ideas, things, that aren’t directly related to my qualifying paper, my dissertation, etc. I’m letting my mind expand in multiple directions…… Continue reading Muddled Thoughts

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