Humor in Contemporary Native North American Literature
Title Details

274 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: European Studies in North American Literature and Culture

Imprint: Camden House

Humor in Contemporary Native North American Literature

Reimagining Nativeness

by Eva Gruber

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Encompassing view of humor in recent Native North American literature, with particular focus on Native self-image and identity.
In contrast to the popular cliché of the "stoic Indian," humor has always been important in Native North American cultures. Recent Native literature testifies to the centrality of this tradition. Yet literary criticism has so farlargely neglected these humorous aspects, instead frequently choosing to concentrate on representations of trauma and cultural disruption, at the risk of reducing Native characters and Native cultures to the position of the tragicvictim. This first comprehensive study explores the use of humor in today's Native writing, focusing on a wide variety of texts spanning all genres. It combines concepts from cultural studies and humor studies with approaches byNative thinkers and critics, analyzing the possible effects of humorous forms of representation on the self-image and identity formation of Native individuals and Native cultures. Humor emerges as an indispensable tool for engaging with existing stereotypes: Native writers subvert degrading clichés of "the Indian" from within, reimagining Nativeness in a celebration of laughing survivors, "decolonizing" the minds of both Native and non-native readers, andcontributing to a renewal of Native cultural identity. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of Native Studies both literary and cultural. Due to its encompassing approach, it will also provide a point of entry for the wider readership interested in contemporary Native writing.

Eva Gruber is Assistant Professor in the American Studies section of the Department of Literature at the University of Konstanz, Germany.
Introduction
Humor in Native North American Literature and Culture: Survey
Reimagining Nativeness Through Humor: Concepts and Terms
Expressing Humor in Contemporary Native Writing: Forms
Humor at Work in Contemporary Native Writing: Issues and Effects
Conclusion
Appendix: The State of Research on Humor in Native Writing
Works Cited
Index
"Thorough and comprehensive . . . a first of its kind . . . provides a clear-cut, systematically structured, and well-researched study of humor in Native North American literary texts. . . . Tells us how Native humor works. . . . Impressive." ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR KANADA-STUDIEN
"The investigation of Native humor . has, with very few exceptions, remained restricted to anthropological and ethnographic studies of ritual humor.. Gruber's pioneering research fills this gap.. More than a significant contribution to Native American Studies; it is at the same time both a thoroughly researched academic study of and a most inspiring encounter with one of the central aspects of Native literature." ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR ANGLISTIK UND AMERIKANISTIK
"Gruber demonstrates that Native authors accumulate familiar clichés and mix them with Native detachment to satirize the image of 'the Indian' in the Euro-American collective imagination. Gruber's style is dense and analytic, but her demonstration is impressive." CHOICE

Hardcover

9781571132574

August 2008

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9781571137999

August 2008

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Title Details

274 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: European Studies in North American Literature and Culture

Imprint: Camden House