Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Renk, Kathleen J., 1952-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Native American studies; Women's studies; Canadian literature; Caribbean literature; American literature; Transnationalism in literature; Postcolonialism in literature; Indians of North America; Women authors; Indigenous women


In the current age of globalization, scholars have become interested in literary transnationalism, but the implications of transnationalism for American Indian studies have yet to be adequately explored. Although some anthologies and scholarly studies have begun to collect and examine texts from Canada and the United States together to ascertain what similarities exist between the different tribal groups, there has not yet been any significant collection of work that also includes fiction by indigenous people south of the U.S. border. I argue that ongoing colonization is the central link that binds these distinct groups together. Thus, drawing heavily on postcolonial literary theory, I isolate the role of displacement and mapping; language and storytelling; and cultural memory and female community in the fiction of women writers such as Leslie Marmon Silko, Pauline Melville, and Eden Robinson, among others. Their distinctive treatment of these common themes offers greater depth and complexity to postcolonial literature and theory, even though independence from settler colonizers has yet to occur. Similarly, the transnational study of these authors contributes to American Indian literature and theory, not by erasing what makes tribes distinct, but by offering a more diverse understanding of what it means to be a Native in the Americas in the face of ongoing colonization.


Advisors: Kathleen J. Renk.||Committee members: Melissa Adams-Campbell; Ibis Gomez-Vega.


219 pages




Northern Illinois University

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