Mary's Reviews > American Indian Rhetorics of Survivance: Word Medicine, Word Magic

American Indian Rhetorics of Survivance by Ernest Stromberg
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's review
Oct 07, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: comparative-rhetoric

I read this on Columbus Day and got all sorts of indignant. But "survivance," this weird space of hybridity and resistance, provides a useful lens for looking at Native texts both historical and present. Speaking of history, it seems like the trijectory has gone from using discord in the colonizers' system (ex: religious sectarianism) to address Native grievances to the colonizers, to seeking sovereignty and multi-tribe solidarity in the 70s, to a pluralism now that I partially applaud (because, after all, isn't "American Indian" a distinction created by the artificial borders drawn by America, essentializing distinct cultures and ways of knowing?) but partially fear: if divisiveness in white cultures allowed space for Native resistance, what might divisiveness in Native cultures lead to?

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