Focusing on early boarding schools established by New England missionaries, first in southern New England and later among the Cherokees, Hilary E. Wyss explores both the ways this missionary culture attempted to shape and define Native literacy and the Native response to their efforts. She examines the tropes of "readerly" Indians—passive and grateful recipients of an English cultural model—and "writerly" Indians—those fluent in the colonial culture but also committed to Native community as a political and cultural concern—to develop a theory of literacy and literate practice that complicates and enriches the study of Native self-expression. Wyss's literary readings of archival sources, published works, and correspondence incorporate methods from gender studies, the history of the book, indigenous intellectual history, and transatlantic American studies.
Early Native Literacies in New England
Designed as a corrective to colonial literary histories that have excluded Native voices, this anthology brings together a variety of primary texts produced by the Algonquian peoples of New England during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and very early nineteenth centuries. Included among these written materials and objects are letters, signatures, journals, baskets, pictographs, confessions, wills, and petitions, each of which represents a form of authorship. Together they demonstrate the continuing use of traditional forms of memory and communication and the lively engagement of Native peoples with alphabetic literacy during the colonial period.
Each primary text is accompanied by an essay that places it in context and explores its significance written by a leading scholar in the field. Contributors include Heidi Bohaker, Heather Bouwman, Joanna Brooks, Kristina Bross, Stephanie Fitzgerald, Sandra Gustafson, Laura Arnold Leibman, Kevin McBride, David Murray, Laura Murray, Jean O Brien, Ann Marie Plane, Philip Round, Jodi Schorb, David Silverman, and Hilary E. Wyss.
A study of cultural encounter, this book takes a fresh look at the much ignored and often misunderstood experience of Christian Indians in early America. Focusing on New England missionary settlements from the mid-seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries, Hilary E. Wyss examines the ways in which Native American converts to Christianity developed their own distinct identity within the context of a colonial culture.
With an approach that weaves together literature, religious studies, and ethnohistory, Wyss grounds her work in the analysis of writings by Native American converts, including letters, journal entries, and religious confessions, juxtaposing these documents to the published works of Anglo-Americans such as Mary Rowlandson's famous captivity narrative and Eleazor Wheelock's accounts of his charity schools.
American Literature, Volume One (second edition)
Along with classic texts of American literature, this anthology includes rarely reprinted documents as well as thematic clusters that offer a sense of trends and ideas affecting early American literature and culture. With wide margins for student comments and questions as well as appealing formatting at a reasonable price, this anthology in the Penguin Academic Series has much to offer the introductory American literature classroom.