"Travels in the Glittering World": Transcultural Representations of Navajo Country

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195353
Title:
"Travels in the Glittering World": Transcultural Representations of Navajo Country
Author:
Burkhart, Matthew Richard
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In "Travels in the Glittering World": Transcultural Representations of Navajo Country, I compare how Dine (Navajo) writers and Euroamerican nature writers represent their experience of Dine culture and the place of the Navajo Nation. This project repositions the scope of analysis common to broader regional studies of the U.S. Southwest by engaging the many ways that representations of Dine Bikeyah (Navajo Country), as a nation linked to other political entities, have refracted the cultural concerns of several twentieth and twenty-first century writers and filmmakers. Centrally, I consider how representations stand in relation to the cultivation of cultural sovereignty. In doing so, I consider the limits and applicability of interpretive models, including "communitism," the "Peoplehood Matrix," and expansive imaginings of literary nationalism. Following scholars such as Lloyd Lee, I consider how elements of contemporary Dine identity--"worldview, land, language, kinship . . . [and] respect for their ancestors' ability to survive colonialism"--factor into twentieth-century texts (92). Responding to texts addressing several historical periods, I consider how artists address the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo, stock reduction, integration into wage economies and the development of extractive industries, relocation, and periods of contemporary migration. Throughout, I consider how rootedness in culture and place allows Navajos to embrace paths of mobility and mindful alliances, which counteract forces which would confine them to the space of the reservation, to the status of a resource colony, or to the role as imagined font of exotic otherness. I consider how Euroamerican nature writers, with limited success, work against the impulse to tint Navajo Country in the sepia hues of primitivist nostalgia to embrace instead a restorative ethos that might support efforts to advance goals of cultural sovereignty. I consider how Dine authors call upon earlier Navajo literary traditions, as well as anti-colonial texts from other cultures, to negotiate the desire to "root" identity in a fixed place while traversing "routes" through and beyond Navajo Country, connecting that nation to larger networks of cultural exchange, urban relocation, economic necessity, travel, and pan-tribal, if not global, alliances working for the purposes of cultural sovereignty and environmental justice.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
English
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Babcock, Barbara A.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.title"Travels in the Glittering World": Transcultural Representations of Navajo Countryen_US
dc.creatorBurkhart, Matthew Richarden_US
dc.contributor.authorBurkhart, Matthew Richarden_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn "Travels in the Glittering World": Transcultural Representations of Navajo Country, I compare how Dine (Navajo) writers and Euroamerican nature writers represent their experience of Dine culture and the place of the Navajo Nation. This project repositions the scope of analysis common to broader regional studies of the U.S. Southwest by engaging the many ways that representations of Dine Bikeyah (Navajo Country), as a nation linked to other political entities, have refracted the cultural concerns of several twentieth and twenty-first century writers and filmmakers. Centrally, I consider how representations stand in relation to the cultivation of cultural sovereignty. In doing so, I consider the limits and applicability of interpretive models, including "communitism," the "Peoplehood Matrix," and expansive imaginings of literary nationalism. Following scholars such as Lloyd Lee, I consider how elements of contemporary Dine identity--"worldview, land, language, kinship . . . [and] respect for their ancestors' ability to survive colonialism"--factor into twentieth-century texts (92). Responding to texts addressing several historical periods, I consider how artists address the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo, stock reduction, integration into wage economies and the development of extractive industries, relocation, and periods of contemporary migration. Throughout, I consider how rootedness in culture and place allows Navajos to embrace paths of mobility and mindful alliances, which counteract forces which would confine them to the space of the reservation, to the status of a resource colony, or to the role as imagined font of exotic otherness. I consider how Euroamerican nature writers, with limited success, work against the impulse to tint Navajo Country in the sepia hues of primitivist nostalgia to embrace instead a restorative ethos that might support efforts to advance goals of cultural sovereignty. I consider how Dine authors call upon earlier Navajo literary traditions, as well as anti-colonial texts from other cultures, to negotiate the desire to "root" identity in a fixed place while traversing "routes" through and beyond Navajo Country, connecting that nation to larger networks of cultural exchange, urban relocation, economic necessity, travel, and pan-tribal, if not global, alliances working for the purposes of cultural sovereignty and environmental justice.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairBabcock, Barbara A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAdamson, Jonien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBegay, Jr., Manleyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWashburn, Francien_US
dc.identifier.proquest11379en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752261244en_US
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