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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

According to Mohawk scholar Taiaiake Alfred, the condition of colonialism persists and continues to evolve for Indigenous peoples in North America and other parts of the world. In the First World, however, Indigenous peoples face an increasingly postmodern imperialism, rather than territorial expropriation or direct institutional control. This chapter explores how active, purposeful comparative studies at the level of the Indigenous global can counter attacks on all forms of Indigenous intellectual autonomy and representation. It proposes what it calls a trans-Indigenous literary studies that performs the kind of “deep decolonization” described by Alfred and promotes, rather than limits, Indigenous authority and control. Trans-Indigenous literary scholarship aims to privilege comparative reading across, through, and beyond tribally and nationally specific Indigenous texts and contexts while working toward the denaturalization of the settler nation-state. Moreover, it attempts to resolve the rift between competing schools of scholarship on Native American and Indigenous literatures.

Keywords: colonialism, Indigenous peoples, North America, imperialism, trans-Indigenous literary studies, decolonization, literary scholarship, comparative studies, denaturalization, nation-state

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