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Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI
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Dean gives an overview of the book:

  From Sherman Alexie's films to the poetry and fiction of Louise Erdrich and Leslie Marmon Silko to the paintings of Jaune Quick-To-See Smith and the sculpture of Edgar Heap of Birds, Native American movies, literature, and art have become increasingly influential, garnering critical praise and enjoying mainstream popularity. Recognizing that the time has come for a critical assessment of this exceptional artistic output and its significance to American Indian and American issues, Dean Rader offers the first interdisciplinary examination of how American Indian artists, filmmakers, and writers tell their own stories. Beginning with rarely seen photographs, documents, and paintings from the Alcatraz Occupation in 1969 and closing with an innovative reading of the National Museum of the American Indian, Rader initiates a conversation about how Native...
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From Sherman Alexie's films to the poetry and fiction of Louise Erdrich and Leslie Marmon Silko to the paintings of Jaune Quick-To-See Smith and the sculpture of Edgar Heap of Birds, Native American movies, literature, and art have become increasingly influential, garnering critical praise and enjoying mainstream popularity. Recognizing that the time has come for a critical assessment of this exceptional artistic output and its significance to American Indian and American issues, Dean Rader offers the first interdisciplinary examination of how American Indian artists, filmmakers, and writers tell their own stories.

Beginning with rarely seen photographs, documents, and paintings from the Alcatraz Occupation in 1969 and closing with an innovative reading of the National Museum of the American Indian, Rader initiates a conversation about how Native Americans have turned to artistic expression as a means of articulating cultural sovereignty, autonomy, and survival. Focusing on figures such as author/director Sherman Alexie (Flight, Face, and Smoke Signals), artist Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, director Chris Eyre (Skins), author Louise Erdrich (Jacklight, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse), sculptor Edgar Heap of Birds, novelist Leslie Marmon Silko, sculptor Allen Houser, filmmaker and actress Valerie Red Horse, and other writers including Joy Harjo, LeAnne Howe, and David Treuer, Rader shows how these artists use aesthetic expression as a means of both engagement with and resistance to the dominant U.S. culture. Raising a constellation of new questions about Native cultural production, Rader greatly increases our understanding of what aesthetic modes of resistance can accomplish that legal or political actions cannot, as well as why Native peoples are turning to creative forms of resistance to assert deeply held ethical values.

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Dean

Dean Rader is a professor in the Department of English at the University of San Francisco and is the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Research Award. His debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize and is a finalist for the Texas...

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Published Reviews

Dec.05.2009

I like the fact that The World is a Text breaks down rhetorical analysis into mediums and focuses on one medium, critical lens or topic per chapter. For example, I teach the first chapter, "Reading and...

Dec.05.2009

There has been a lack of critical attention toward Native American poetry to date. As editors Dean Rader and Janice Gould of Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry note in their...

Author's Publishing Notes

Visually beautiful, poetically adept, and analytically provocative, Engaged Resistance brilliantly sets out a unified field architecture for reading American Indian political aesthetics [and aesthetic politics]. Dean Rader's lively writing, broad range, and cool interpretive moves make him one of the most compelling scholars working in interdisciplinary American Indian studies today. —Phillip Deloria, Professor, Department of History, The Program in American Culture, and The Native American Studies Program, University of Michigan