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

american literature · fiction · graduate school

Faulkner’s Ecology: Thoughts on Light in August

I just finished reading William Faulkner’s Light in August. It’s not his most narratively complex novel, and perhaps one of the more readily accessible. Still, Faulkner often causes impatience because he doesn’t see fit to leave anything out. Every thought, every psychological crevice of every character is thoroughly explored. And, he doesn’t stop there. Faulkner…… Continue reading Faulkner’s Ecology: Thoughts on Light in August

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 · 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