2013 Summer Seminar in the History of the Book
Native American Print Culture, 1600-1900
Where does American Indian Literature come from? Most readers, when confronted with the category “Native American Writers” think immediately of best selling authors like N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Leslie Silko. Such authors are often praised for being “almost unbearably authentic” (as the cover of Momaday’s House Made of Dawn suggests), and are often treated as though they somehow hover above the materialist fray that is the world of publishing and books. Native books are “authentic,” presumably, because they offer a direct line to an oral tradition, rendering it legible for outsiders to view.