The Presence and Use of the Native American and African American Oral Trickster Traditions in Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends and American Indian Stories and Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman
AdvisorKarcher, Carolyn L., 1945-
Committee memberDrake, Jayne
Williams, Roland Leander
Salazar, James B.
SubjectNative American Studies
African American Studies
African American Trickster Literature
Native American Trickster Literature
Old Indian Legends
The Conjure Woman
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2651
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe Presence and Use of the Native American and African American Oral Trickster Traditions in Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends and American Indian Stories and Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman My dissertation examines early Native American and African American oral trickster tales and shows how the pioneering authors Zitkala-Sa (Lakota) and Charles W. Chesnutt (African American) drew on them to provide the basis for a written literature that critiqued the political and social oppression their peoples were experiencing. The dissertation comprises 5 chapters. Chapter 1 defines the meaning and role of the oral trickster figure in Native American and African American folklore. It also explains how my participation in the Native American and African American communities as a long-time storyteller and as a trained academic combine to allow me to discern the hidden messages contained in Native American and African American oral and written trickster literature. Chapter 2 pinpoints what is distinctive about the Native American oral tradition, provides examples of trickster tales, explains their meaning, purpose, and cultural grounding, and discusses the challenges of translating the oral tradition into print. The chapter also includes an analysis of Jane Schoolcraft's short story "Mishosha" (1827). Chapter 3 focuses on Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends (1901) and American Indian Stories (1921). In the legends and stories, Zitkala-Sa is able to preserve much of the mystical, magical, supernatural, and mythical quality of the original oral trickster tradition. She also uses the oral trickster tradition to describe and critique her particular nineteenth-century situation, the larger historical, cultural, and political context of the Sioux Nation, and Native American oppression under the United States government. Chapter 4 examines the African American oral tradition, provides examples of African and African American trickster tales, and explains their meaning, purpose, and cultural grounding. The chapter ends with close readings of the trickster tale elements embedded in William Wells Brown's Clotel; or, The President's Daughter (1853), Harriett Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), and Martin R. Delany's Blake, or the Huts of America (serialized 1859 - 1862). Chapter 5 shows how Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman rests upon African-derived oral trickster myths, legends, and folklore preserved in enslavement culture. Throughout the Conjure tales, Chesnutt uses the supernatural as a metaphor for enslaved people's resistance, survival skills and methods, and for leveling the ground upon which Blacks and Whites struggled within the confines of the enslavement and post-Reconstruction South. Native American and African American oral and written trickster tales give voice to their authors' concerns about the social and political quality of life for themselves and for members of their communities. My dissertation allows these voices a forum from which to "speak."
ADA complianceFor Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, including help with reading this content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
RE-ESTABLISHING MASCULINITIES IN EARLY TO MID-20TH CENTURY AMERICAN FICTIONOrvell, Miles; Lee, Sue-Im; Henry, Katherine, 1956- (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)How has the concept of masculinity been revised and adapted by different writers over the course of the early to mid-20th century? How and why did the authors respond to the question of masculinity differently? To answer these questions, this dissertation navigates the contested nature of masculinity in works spanning the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. I juxtapose two to three writers and their selected works in each chapter divided by the authors’ race and ethnicity: William Dean Howells’ The Rise of Silas Lapham and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Richard Wright by focusing on Up from Slavery, The Souls of Black Folk, and Native Son respectively; Mike Gold’s Jews without Money and Nathanael West’s A Cool Million: The Dismantling of Lemuel; Younghill Kang’s East Goes West: and Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart. The writers I examine present masculinities that deviate from hegemonic masculinity, challenge and/or reinforce the definition and parameters of hegemonic masculinity, and develop models of masculinity that meet the needs of their specific historical moments. I argue that juxtaposing different modalities of masculinity construction and exploring the multifaceted treatment of American masculinity afford a more comprehensive perspective about the avenues through which masculinity is made manifest. My examination of multiple masculinities reveals the processes of establishing, maintaining, and contesting hegemonic masculinity. Moreover, tracking historical changes in masculinities uncovers how a set of essentialized traits, though changing, have transformed into and manifested as a privileged form of masculinity.
Rethinking Our Outlines/ Redrawing Our Maps: Representing African Agency in the Antebellum South 1783-1829Thompson, Heather Ann, 1963-; Wonkeryor, Edward Lama; Jenkins, Wilbert L., 1953-; Carr, Greg (Greg E.) (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)Rethinking Our Outlines/ Redrawing Our Maps: Representing African Agency in the Antebellum South 1783-1829 The lenses through which our common perceptions of African/Black agency in the antebellum period are viewed, synthetic textbooks and maps, rarely reveal the tremendous number of liberating acts that characterized the movements of Black people in the South from 1783 to 1829. During the American Revolution, 80,000 to 100,000 such enslaved Africans threw off their yokes and escaped their bondage. Subsequently, large numbers embarked on British ships as part of the Loyalist exodus from the United States, while others fled to the deep South, to Native lands, to the North, or held their ground right where they were, attempting, as maroons, to establish themselves and survive as free persons. While recent historical scholarship has identified many of the primary sources and themes that characterize such massive levels of proactivity, few have tried to present them as a synthetic whole. This applies to maps used to illustrate the African American history of those regions and times as well. Illustrating these movements defines the scope of this scholarly work entitled Rethinking Our Outlines/ Redrawing Our Maps: Representing African Agency in the Antebellum South 1783-1829. This work also critically looks at several contemporary maps of this period published in authoritative atlases or textbooks and subsequently creates three original maps to represent the proactive movements and relationships of Africans during this period.
Unusual Occurrences in the Desert: Symbolic Landscapes in the Cultural Exchange between the United States and Mexico, 1920-1939Orvell, Miles; Salazar, James B.; Newman, Steve, 1970-; Lowe, Hilary Iris (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)What does Mexico mean to the cultural imagination of the United States? What has it meant in the past? In what ways has the U.S. incorporated aspects of Mexican culture into its own? This dissertation explores these questions of cultural and intellectual exchange between the U.S. and Mexico during the 1920s and 1930s by positioning itself amid the present “transnational” and “hemispheric” turn in U.S. literary study. Its subject matter ranges from architecture and urbanism to journalism and travel writing to short stories and novels to muralism and the visual arts. Such an interdisciplinary approach is bolstered by crossing scales of geography from the international to the continental, the national, the regional and the local. Positioning the discussion in geographic terms allows one to see how the possibilities for cultural exchange could never be fully realized, as the ways in which U.S. writers and intellectuals understood Mexico-- then and now-- can rarely be separated from either the physical proximity or the cultural dissimilarity of the two countries, a relationship that has been described as one of “distant neighbors.” This dissertation takes the spatial components of culture seriously, employing useful concepts from the disciplines of human geography and cultural landscape studies to inform its understanding of how diverse figures ranging from Conrad Aiken, Stuart Chase, José Clemente Orozco, Katherine Anne Porter, Sophie Treadwell, William Carlos Williams-- among others less widely known-- understood Mexico and presented it to a U.S. audience during the interwar period. Their narratives often employ the symbolic landscape of Mexico to communicate the qualities of Mexican culture while unwittingly obscuring the reality of what the country itself. Nonetheless, each example points to possible correctives in the pattern, offering a hemispheric perspective from which much can still be learned today.