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date: 21 May 2019

(p. xi) Acknowledgments

(p. xi) Acknowledgments

This Handbook is the realization of nearly five years of collaboration. We are enormously grateful, first and foremost, to the volume’s forty-four contributors. Their participation in this project has resulted in what we believe to be the most comprehensive handbook in Indigenous American literary studies to date. We want to offer further thanks to a handful of scholars who joined in the early stages of the project but were unable to contribute to its final form. While not among the present contributors, their ideas made a significant impact on the vision of the final Handbook.

Our thanks extend as well to the staff of the Oxford University Press (USA), especially our stalwart editor, Brendan O’Neill, and his ever-helpful editorial assistant, Stephen Bradley. It was Brendan who first solicited our participation in the process, and although the result has taken longer and become much larger than any of us anticipated at the beginning, we deeply appreciate his constant support and encouragement of the project as it developed along the way. We are also grateful to the unflappable John Britto Stephen and his colleagues at Newgen, who have been patient shepherds of the manuscript throughout the production process.

As we know from both personal and professional experience, no scholarly or creative project emerges from isolation, especially a volume of this size. It is an understatement to say that our lives would be greatly diminished without the visionary Indigenous writers, past and present, whose work has inspired our imaginations and intellects, fuelled our curiosity, and opened our hearts. Our thanks also go to our colleagues in Indigenous literary studies across the continent, the hemisphere, and the world, especially those scholars and artists in the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL), the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), and the newly founded Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) in Canada.

Similarly, we owe our appreciation to our friends and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin (English, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies), the University of Toronto (English, the Aboriginal Studies Program, and First Nations House), and the University of British Columbia (First Nations Studies and English). They continue to enrich our own scholarship and lives, as do our undergraduate and graduate students, who have often been among the most insightful critics and thinkers we’ve been privileged to work with.

It is something of a tradition in acknowledgments pages that the most important expressions of gratitude come at the end. If not for the kindness, patience, and (p. xii) enthusiasm of our families—immediate and extended—our work would be immeasurably harder and far less meaningful. To Kent, Domino, and Ewan, especially: you make possible everything we do. We are as much humbled by as grateful for your love and support.

As the Handbook was going to press, we were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of one of our contributors, Renate Eigenbrod. She was a much loved and deeply respected friend and mentor among the many Indigenous students, scholars, community members, and engaged non-Indigenous scholars with whom she worked in Canada, and her work consistently exemplified the very highest intellectual standards and deepest ethical commitments. It is a bittersweet honor to have one of her final works appear in the Handbook. May her generous life and scholarship continue to inspire, encourage, and illuminate. Goodbye, Renate—you will be sorely missed.

James H. Cox, Tonkawa Territory, Austin, Texas

Daniel Heath Justice, Musqueam Territory, Vancouver, BC

May 2014