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NAS Research Colloquium/Book Talk: Kirby Brown (Cherokee Nation), “Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970”

Nov 28, 2018, 12:00 pm1:30 pm

Many Nations Longhouse

Free and open to the public

Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Century Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970 (University of Oklahoma Press, Spring 2018) examines the politics and possibilities of Cherokee writing between Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in the early-1970s. Situating writing Rachel Caroline Eaton (1869-1938), John Milton Oskison (1874-1947), Ruth Muskrat Bronson (1897-1982), and Rollie Lynn Riggs (1899-1954) within the Cherokee trans/national contexts which informed their lives and work, the book explores the multiple and complicated ways these writers continued to remember, (re)imagine, and enact Cherokee nationhood in the absence of a functioning Cherokee state. Often read as an intellectually inactive and politically insignificant “dark age” in Cherokee history, Stoking the Fire recovers this period as a rich archive of Cherokee national memory capable of informing contemporary discussions about sovereignty, self-determination, citizenship, and belonging in Cherokee Country and across Native American and Indigenous Studies today.

Kirby Brown is an Associate Professor of Native American Literatures in the Department of English at the University of Oregon and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He received his PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His research interests include Native American literary, intellectual, and cultural production from the late eighteenth century to the present, Indigenous critical theory, sovereignty/self-determination studies, nationhood/nationalism studies, and genre studies. His book, Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018), examines how four Cherokee writers variously remembered, imagined and enacted Cherokee nationhood in the period between Oklahoma a statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in the early 1970s. Essays in contemporary Indigenous critical theory, constitutional criticism in Native literatures, Native interventions in the Western and in Modernist Studies have appeared in Sovereignty Separatism and Survivance: Ideological Encounters in Native North America (2009), Nakum Journal (2010), Studies in American Indian Literatures (2011), Routledge Companion to Native American Literatures (2015), Texas Studies in Language and Literatures (2017), and Western American Literature(2018).

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