Unconventional Politics: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and U.S. Indian Policy by Janet DeanUnconventional Politics: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and U.S. Indian Policy by Janet Dean

Unconventional Politics: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and U.S. Indian Policy

byJanet Dean

Paperback | August 19, 2016

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Throughout the nineteenth century, Native and non-Native women writers protested U.S. government actions that threatened indigenous people's existence. The conventional genres they sometimes adopted - the sensationalistic captivity narrative, sentimental Indian lament poetry, didactic assimilation fiction, and the mass-circulated commercial magazine - typically had been used to reinforce the oppressive policies of removal, war, and allotment. But in Unconventional Politics Janet Dean explores how four authors, Sarah Wakefield, Lydia Huntley Sigourney, the Muscogee/Creek S. Alice Callahan, and the Cherokee Ora V. Eddleman, converted these frameworks to serve a politics of dissent. Intervening in current debates in feminist and Native American literary criticism, Dean shows how these women advocated for Native Americans by both politicizing conventional literature and employing literary skill to respond to national policy.

Dean argues that in protesting U.S. Indian policy through popular genres, Wakefield, Sigourney, Callahan, and Eddleman also critiqued cultural protocols and stretched the contours of accepted modes of feminine discourse. Their acts of improvisation and reinvention tell a new story about the development of American women's writing and political expression.
Janet Dean is professor of English and cultural studies at Bryant University.
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Title:Unconventional Politics: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and U.S. Indian PolicyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:270 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:August 19, 2016Publisher:University of Massachusetts PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1625342039

ISBN - 13:9781625342034

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Dean deftly weaves together scholarship on nineteenth-century American literature, current debates in Native American and Indigenous Studies about the ideological work of literary texts, and theories of literary form and aesthetics. In so doing, she re-places considerations of literary form and aesthetics alongside questions of political and cultural work." - Siobhan Senier, author of Voices of American Indian Assimilation and Resistance: Helen Hunt Jackson, Sarah Winnemucca, and Victoria Howard"Unconventional Politics makes a substantial contribution to the field of nineteenth-century literary studies. Specifically, Dean offers a new way of understanding texts both within and in debate with conventions like sentimentality or the captivity narrative." - Cari Carpenter, author of Seeing Red: Anger, Sentimentality, and American Indians