Mediating Indianness

Notes on Contributors

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Kimberly Blaeser is a poet, critic, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer. Her poetry collections include Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You. Her critical study Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition, was the first native-authored book-length study of an Indigenous author. Blaeser edited the volumes Traces in Blood, Bone & Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry, and Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose. Her own writing is widely anthologized, including in The Heath Anthology of American Literature, and her poetry has been translated into several languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, and French.Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Blaeser grew up on White Earth Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota. She is currently a professor of English at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative Writing, Native American literature, and literature of place and the environment. Kimberly Blaeser has been named the Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-2016.

Cherokee Nation citizen, Ellen Cushman is a professor of writing, rhetoric, and American cultures at Michigan State University (MSU) and has served as a Cherokee Nation Sequoyah commissioner. Her book, The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance (2011), is based on six years of ethnohistorical research with her tribe and explores the evolution and historical importance of the Cherokee writing system. Recent essays from this research demonstrate the cultural, linguistic, and historic importance of the Cherokee syllabary and can be found in Ethnohistory, Wicazo Sa Review, and Written Communication. She earned her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in rhetoric and communication. She currently serves as codirector of the Center for Applied Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities at MSU, and is coeditor of the National Council of Teachers of English's flagship journal Research in the Teaching of English.

Dr. Nicholle Dragone, an Indigenous scholar of Lakota/Dakota descent, is faculty in both the American Indian studies and English Departments at Black Hills State University. Dragone completed her doctoral degree in American studies and a law degree at the University at Buffalo. She has published articles and book chapters on Haudenosaunee literature and film. Dragone is currently editing a critical anthology on Onondaga writer Eric Gansworth’s literary and visual art. She is also revising for publication Haudenosaunee Literature: A View from Outside the Culture, which presents a critical model for allied scholars and Native literary scholars studying the literatures of cultures other than their own.

Sonja Georgi is lecturer in American studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.  She received a master of arts degree in American studies, applied linguistics, and economics and a PhD degree in American studies from the University of Siegen. Her dissertation, Bodies and/as Technology: Counter-Discourses on Ethnicity and Globalization in the Works of Alejandro Morales, Larissa Lai and Nalo Hopkinson was completed in 2010 and published by Universitätsverlag Winter in 2011. Her current postdoctoral research project focuses on Native American and African American encounters in literature and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has taught courses on American science fiction literature, science fiction film, African American literature, and the American Renaissance as well as introductory courses to literary and cultural studies and to academic writing.

Jane Haladay is Associate Professor of American Indian studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis, in Native American studies with a designated emphasis in feminist theory and research, and an MA from the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies Program. Her publications and research areas emphasize collaborative pedagogy, cultural models of Indigenous literary theories, issues around violence and healing for Native women and communities, humor in Native literature, ecological literacy, and social justice.

Gordon Henry, Jr., an Anishinaabe poet and novelist, is an enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota. His poetry has been published in anthologies such as Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back: Contemporary American Indian Poetry (1983) and Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First Native American Writers (1994). His novel The Light People (1994) was awarded The American Book Award in 1995. He has also coauthored the textbook The Ojibway (2004), to which he contributed a number of essays on Native American culture. In 2007 Henry published The Failure of Certain Charms, a collection of poetry. In 2010, he coedited Stories through Theory/Theory through Stories with Silvia Martínez Falquina and Nieves Pascual Soler. From 2010 to 2013, Henry served as the director of the Native American Institute at Michigan State University. He teaches courses in American literature, creative writing, and American Indian literature.

Chris LaLonde is the author of a book on the early fiction of William Faulkner, a book on the novels of Choctaw-Cherokee-Irish writer and scholar Louis Owens, and numerous essays on Native American literatures and, more generally, twentieth-century American literature. His most recent publication is an essay on the literary activism of White Earth Anishinaabe Gerald Vizenor. LaLonde is a professor of English and director of American studies at the State University of New York, College at Oswego.

A. Robert Lee, a Britisher formerly of the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK (1967-1996), from 1997-2011 was Professor of American Literature at Nihon University, Tokyo. He has held visiting U.S. appointments at Princeton, the University of Virginia, Bryn Mawr College, Northwestern University, the University of Colorado, the University of New Mexico and the University of California, Berkeley. His book publications include, Multicultural American Literature: Comparative Black, Native, Latino/a and Asian American Fictions (2003), which won the 2004 American Book Award; with Gerald Vizenor, Postindian Conversations (1999), editor Loosening the Seams: Interpretations of Gerald Vizenor (2000), editor with Deborah Madsen, Gerald Vizenor: Texts and Contexts (2010), editor of The Salt Companion to Jim Barnes (2010), Native American Writing, 4 vols. (2011), editor with Alan Velie, Native American Renaissance: Literary Imagination and Achievement (2013), and essays on Carter Revard, Simon Ortiz, Louis Owens, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Native autobiography.

Evelina Zuni Lucero is Isleta/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. She is associate professor in the creativbe writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is author of Night Star, Morning Star, which won the 1999 First Book Award for Fiction from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. She also co-edited Simon J. Ortiz: A Poetic Legacy of Indigenous Continuance, a collection of interviews, creative pieces and critical essays focusing on the life and work of Acoma Pueblo poet Simon J. Ortiz. Her fiction has been published in various publications including White Shell Water Place, Kenyon Review, Ekleksographia 4.0, Oregon Literary Review, and others. She is working on a second novel set in New Mexico.

Ludmila Martanovschi obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Bucharest, Romania, in 2008. She teaches twentieth-century American literature and ethnic studies as an associate professor at Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania. She is the author of Decolonizing the Self: Memory, Language and Cultural Experience in Contemporary American Indian Poetry (2009). As a Fulbright grantee, she conducted research on American Indian literatures at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2003-2004) and on American drama at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (2011). She is an active member of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL), the Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas (MESEA), and the European Association for American Studies (EAAS).

Sally McBeth is professor of anthropology and department chair at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). Her areas of expertise include Native American studies, multicultural and women’s studies, folklore/oral history/life history, field methods in cultural anthropology, religion, and cultural interpretation. She earned her PhD in anthropology from Washington State University in 1982. Her most recent research is working with U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service to integrate Ute perspectives into the cultural interpretation of these government agencies’ lands. McBeth has authored two books, Ethnic Identity and the Boarding School Experience (1984), Essie’s Story: The Life and Legacy of a Shoshone Teacher (1998), and three on-line publications: Native American Oral History and Cultural Interpretation in Rocky Mountain National Park (2007), Ute Ethnobotany Project (2008), and “Talking About a Sacredness”: An Ethnographic Overview of Colorado National Monument (2010), in addition to numerous journal articles and encyclopedia entries.

Molly McGlennen was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is of Anishinaabe and European descent. Currently, she is an associate professor of English and Native American studies at Vassar College. She holds a PhD in Native American studies from University of California, Davis and an MFA in creative writing from Mills College. Her scholarship and poetry have been published widely. McGlennen’s first poetry collection, Fried Fish and Flour Biscuits, was published in November 2010 by Salt, and is part of its award-winning Earthworks series. Her scholarly book Creative Alliances: The Transnational Designs of Indigenous Women's Poetry was published in 2014.

Jesse Peters was raised in rural Georgia. He is currently professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He holds a PhD in English with a focus on Native American literature from the University of New Mexico. His main area of research focuses on the ways Native American writers use syncretisms in their work. He enjoys fly-fishing and riding BMW motorcycles.

Christine Plicht received a BA in the Literary, Cultural and Media Studies and Economics from the University of Siegen, Germany in 2010, finishing the program with research on cinematic deconstructions of Native American alterity. During her studies, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2012, she finished the American studies MA program at the University of Mainz, Germany, with a thesis on indigeneity and commodification in a global age, focusing on the Maori warrior image. She is currently working and preparing her PhD research at the Center for Comparative Native and Indigenous Studies in Mainz with Prof. Mita Banerjee.

John Purdy is professor of English at Western Washington University. His most recent books include Writing Indian, Native Conversations; Nothing But the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literatures; and a novel, Riding Shotgun into the Promised Land. A former editor of Studies in American Indian Literatures and American Review of Canadian Studies, he is the founder and first editor of the online literary quarterly, Native Literatures: Generations.

Kerstin Schmidt is professor of American Studies at the University of Eichstätt in Germany. She is the author of The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama (2005) and has published on modern American drama, ethnic literatures in the United States and Canada, the Harlem Renaissance, theories and cultures of diaspora as well as on media theory and visual culture studies. She coedited the essay collection America and the Sea (2004) and has edited and contributed to Space in America: Theory History Culture (2005) and McLuhan neu lesen: Kritische Analysen zu Medien und Kultur im 21. Jahrhundert (2008). She is also a founding member of the women's studies journal Freiburger FrauenStudien. Her current research focuses on “Negative Space and the Making of Modern America: Concepts of Space in American Literature, Architecture, and Photography” as well as on “The Literature of Relation: Reconceptualizations of the Black Atlantic and Diasporic Writing.”

Billy J. Stratton earned a PhD in American Indian studies from the University of Arizona in 2008 and currently serves as assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English at the University of Denver, where he teaches courses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Native American and American literature. His scholarly work on captivity narratives, Native literature, and American writers including Cormac McCarthy have appeared in journals such as Wicazo Sa Review, Weber: The Contemporary West, Arizona Quarterly, and Rhizomes. His book on the influence and legacy of the Indian captivity narrative, Buried in Shades of Night, was published in 2013. In 2013 Stratton was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American studies at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany.

Cathy Covell Waegner teaches American studies at the University of Siegen in Germany.  She obtained degrees from the College of William & Mary (BA) and the University of Virginia (MA, PhD). In addition to her work on William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, she has published on transculturality in the ethnic bildungsroman, minstrelsy, AfroAsian “postmodernist passing,” 400 years after Jamestown, “hybrid tropes” in film, and the interaction between American and European cultural phenomena. Waegner co-edited a project volume with Norfolk State University scholars, Transculturality and Perceptions of the Immigrant Other: “From-Heres” and “Come-Heres” in Virginia and North Rhine-Westphalia (2011), as well as, with colleagues from Université d’Orléans, Literature on the Move: Comparing Diasporic Ethnicities in Europe and the Americas (2002). She served as MESEA (Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas) treasurer for four years. Her current research focuses on new forms of cultural diaspora.

Guest Contributor:  GERALD VIZENOR
Gerald Vizenor is Distinguished Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and professor emeritus of American studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a citizen of the White Earth Nation, and has published more than thirty books, including Native Liberty: Natural Reason and Cultural Survivance, Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence, Native Storiers, Father Meme, Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence, Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57, Shrouds of White Earth, The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution, Blue Ravens: Historical Novel, and Favor of Crows: New and Collected Haiku. Vizenor received an American Book Award for Griever: An American Monkey King in China, and recently a second award for Chair of Tears, the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.