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Title page for ETD etd-07182013-090730

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Barnett, Elizabeth Susan
URN etd-07182013-090730
Title Aboriginal Issues: Indianism and the Modernist Literary Field
Degree PhD
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Professor Vera Kutzinski Committee Chair
  • Indianism
  • poetry
  • modernism
Date of Defense 2013-06-10
Availability unrestricted
This is a study of US American literary modernism during the 1910s, ‘20s, and ‘30s, a field of restricted production in which authors struggle for symbolic capital in order to gain position. I identify “the Indian,” in all the ambiguity that term implies, as a potential source of such symbolic capital. My focus is on three poets—Alice Corbin, Lynn Riggs, and Wallace Stevens—and their efforts to claim or to problematize the claiming of that symbolic capital. I name this modernist relation to “the Indian” Indianism and argue that it provides a different lens through which to view US American literary modernism. Indianism encompassed white appropriative practices, the entry of traditional Native texts into the literary field, and Native writers navigating that field. As I show, current approaches to modernist primitivism obscure all three of these important components of literary history.
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