Beth H. Piatote

Domestic Subjects

Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature

Yale University Press 2013

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network May 13, 2013 Andrew Epstein

The suspension of the so-called “Indian Wars” did not signal colonialism’s end, only a different battlefield. “The calvary man was supplanted–or, rather, supplemented–by the...

The suspension of the so-called “Indian Wars” did not signal colonialism’s end, only a different battlefield. “The calvary man was supplanted–or, rather, supplemented–by the field matron, the Hotchkiss by the transit, and the prison by the school,” writes Beth H. Piatote. “A turn to the domestic front, even as the last shots at Wounded Knee echoed in America’s collective ear, marked not the end of conquest but rather its renewal.”

Yet the domestic space was not only a target of invasion; it was also a site of resistance, a fertile ground for Native authors to define what counted as love, home, and kin in an era of coercive assimilation. In Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale University Press, 2013), Piatote brilliantly reads the work of late nineteenth century writers like Pauline Johnson, S. Alice Callahan, D’arcy McNickle and others as a contest over settler domestication. Piatote offers an eloquent exploration of incredible courage and literary acumen, with resonance in our own political moment.

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