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Decolonizing Gender: Indigenous Feminism and Native American Literature


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12115

Decolonizing Gender: Indigenous Feminism and Native American Literature

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dc.contributor.author Sneider, Leah
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-09T21:01:51Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-09T21:01:51Z
dc.date.issued 2011-02-09
dc.date.submitted December 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12115
dc.description.abstract An Indigenous feminist approach to Native literature reveals the ways in which Native authors attempt to build balanced relationships and conversations across cultures, nations, and histories. I explore ways that Native authors depict gender violence and male characters who, like Native women, negotiate colonization and assert sovereignty. Doing so offers a new way of reading Native literature that seeks to also decolonize our analytical approaches for similar use across academic disciplines and for practical applications within and outside of academia. I define Indigenous Feminism as the responsibility for the nurturance and growth of Native communities through storytelling as a communal process and action reflecting personal sovereign power. I focus on how these authors adapt traditional knowledge of social balance through ideological subversion. I read literary conventions as creating complementary and reciprocal relationships in order to develop critical awareness thus enacting an Indigenous feminist ideology. An author’s rhetorical and literary use of these principles attempts to create a balanced relationship between reader and author that simultaneously decolonizes readers’ minds. Reading constructions of masculinities in connection with complementarity and reciprocity discloses and helps to understand colonial gender violence thus asserting an Indigenous feminist decolonizing process that seeks to remove colonial ideological shackles. Thus, I read Native texts for a balanced distribution of power across relationships, specifically gender-based relationships and systems of power. This exploration of complementary and reciprocal relationships enables us to read literature as critical responses to gender violence and its effects on both Native men and women. These texts and their authors offer a way of seeing gender identity on a continuum based on both individual and communal needs. Furthermore, such an analysis allows for balanced dialogue needed to uncover a new understanding of shared experiences to effect social change. Therefore, a more inclusive Indigenous feminist perspective presents a new way of recognizing literature and storytelling as social activism, or attempting to affect social justice within the imaginations and ideologies of its readers. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Indigenous Feminism en_US
dc.subject Native American Literature en_US
dc.subject gender en_US
dc.subject Indian literature en_US
dc.subject decolonization en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Indians of North America--Ethnic identity
dc.subject.lcsh Decolonization in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Sex role in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Feminism
dc.subject.lcsh American literature--Indian authors--Criticism and interpretation
dc.title Decolonizing Gender: Indigenous Feminism and Native American Literature en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree English en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of English en_US
dc.description.advisor Scharnhorst, Gary
dc.description.committee-member Washburn, Kathleen
dc.description.committee-member Goldstein, Alyosha
dc.description.committee-member Denetdale, Jennifer

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