"Nothing Can Contain This Story Now": Incarceration and Contemporary Native American Literature
“‘Nothing Can Contain This Story Now’: Incarceration and Contemporary Native American Literature” demonstrates how the forced displacements of Native Americans generated by the Indian Removal Act in 1830 and the Termination and Relocation Policies from 1945 to 1960 are linked to forms of confinement, separation, and isolation. This dissertation rethinks an Indigenous historiography that understands the colonization of Native people and Native space primarily in terms of removal and displacement – and thus in terms of mobility – and aims instead to conceive American Indian colonization in terms of incarceration, isolation, and confinement as well. Looking at the prison, the boarding school, and the reservation as strategic sites of settler colonial enclosure in contemporary Native American texts, I demonstrate how Indigenous literature incorporates a fundamentally mobile understanding of reading and writing that imagines a movement of pursuance towards others and towards places where sound and story emerges. Instead of relying exclusively on visual and graphic evidence for Native stories and Native space, the texts in this dissertation provide strategies to conceive of and read audible remainders in the landscape – “a residue of voices” as Glancy puts it in Fort Marion (Glancy, Fort 9). In pursuing a type of residual reading, this project takes seriously the carceral project of “disappearing” Native beings and their stories while looking for tactics of audible release from the carceral confines created by settler colonialism.
Space; Mobility; Indigenous; Law; imprisonment; removal; Settler Colonialism; Native American studies; American literature
Cheyfitz, Eric T.
Brady, Mary P.; Anker, Elizabeth Susan
English Language and Literature
Ph. D., English Language and Literature
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis