Biography

My research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Indigenous American literature and film, with wider interest in multi-ethnic American writers and film makers, and contemporary climate crisis fiction. My key areas of interest are Settler Colonial Studies and Indigenous Studies, and how pressing contemporary tribal socio-political and economic realities  - such as tribal sovereignty; environmental racism;  land claims; water rights; anthropology and the 'repatriation' of remains and artefacts; the role and presence of the dead; concepts of community; and the imaginative erasure of Indigenous peoples in North America – are expressed in literature and film. I am currently especially interested in climate crisis fiction, and particularly how contemporary Indigenous fiction explores Indigenous understandings of climate crisis as the direct outcome of the worldviews embedded within settler colonialism and capitalism.

 

I am a founder member and Committee member of the Native Studies Research Network, UK (NSRN), along with my colleague in American Studies, Professor Jacqueline Fear-Segal. The NSRN has over 120 members nationwide, both faculty and postgraduate, and runs regular bi-annual colloquia for works in progress, plus international conferences.

Conferences have included ‘Language, Silence, and Voice in Native Studies’ (University of Geneva, 2007); ‘Indigenous Bodies: Reviewing, Relocating, Reclaiming’ (University of East Anglia, 2009); ‘Indigeneity and the Arts: Visual Cultures and Communications’ (University of Kent, 2011); and 'Indigenous Environments: Contested, Negotiated, Sustained' (University of East Anglia, 2016).

 

Key publications include Otherwise Revolution!: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (Bloomsbury Press, 2018), the edited collection Howling For Justice: New Perspectives on Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (Arizona University Press, 2014), a collection edited with Professor Jacqueline Fear-Segal Indigenous Bodies: Reviewing, Relocating, Reclaiming (SUNY Press, 2013), and Contemporary Native American Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2007). I am also the author of numerous articles and book chapters.

Recent works on climate crisis and fiction include "The Necessity of Lived Resistance: Reading Leslie Marmon Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes in an era of rapid climate change" in Studies in American Indian Literatures, August 2020, and ‘“Sand Lizard warned her children to share:” Philosophies of Gardening and Exchange in Gardens in the Dunes,’ in Leslie Marmon Silko: Ceremony/ Almanac of the Dead/ Gardens in the Dunes, ed. David L. Moore (Bloomsbury Press, 2016). 

 

My current research project considers how contemporary Indigenous fiction traces a clear trajectory between the kinds of attitudes that enabled the genocide of settler colonialism and of the slave trade, and the development of capitalism and its increasingly evaluation of life of all kinds as expendable, with the kinds of myopic and irresponsible behaviours that drive climate crisis. One of my key interests is how Indigenous fiction also presents traditional Indigenous cosmopolitical knowledge as one way to challenge and overturn ecologically and communally damaging colonial and capitalist ways of living.

 

I welcome research students with an interest in contemporary Indigenous American literature and film, in the intersections of Indigenous Studies and Settler Colonial Studies, in contemporary climate crisis literatures, in the relationships between literature, place and the environment; and in contemporary multiethnic American writing.

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