Title page for ETD etd-04242002-184740


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wilkinson, Elizabeth Leigh
Author's Email Address elwilki2@vt.edu
URN etd-04242002-184740
Title Story as a Weapon in Colonized America
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dyer, Harry Committee Co-Chair
Siegle, Robert B. Committee Co-Chair
Corntassel, Jeffrey J. Committee Member
Radcliffe, David Hill Committee Member
Keywords
  • Literature
  • Colonization
  • American Indian
  • Decolonization
Date of Defense 2002-04-15
Availability restricted
Abstract
From first contact, Europeans and Euro-Americans have been representing North American indigenous peoples in literature. Non-Indian authors colonized American Indian stories and re-presented them through a Western worldview, which distorted and misrepresented Indian peoples. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?s piece, Song of Hiawatha, published in 1855 is an early example of this, and Ann Rinaldi?s children?s book, My Heart Is on the Ground, is a contemporary example. However, Indian peoples are not mere victims. Using story as a weapon for ?decolonization,? American Indian authors have self-re-presented and, through literature, have fought for a more accurate, tribal specific presentation of self to the dominant culture. Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin) authored decolonizing, autobiographical articles and short stories as early as 1901 and collected and published these in her text American Indian Stories in 1920. James Welch continued a legacy of tribal specific, American Indian authored literature with his 1986 publication, Fools Crow. Both texts work as weapons in the decolonization of American literature.
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