Vol.VI, No.3                             June 1989


"He dreamed trees and leaned in the wind with the cedar. In the winter he stood outside alone drawing his arms around his trunk under snow." --Gerald Vizenor



Modern Language Association               Page 1
People                                                      Page 2
Books                                                        Page 3
Calls                                                         Page 6
Colleagues & Programs Overseas           Page 7
From the Editor:                                      Page 8
Subscription Form                           Inside back cover



is published by the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures. Deadline for submission of material is October 15 for November 1 publication. All materials should be sent to:

                 Susan Scarberry-Garcia
                 Department of English
                 Fort Lewis College
                 Durango, CO 81301


Modern Language Association

The convention in Washington, D.C. this year will include a session chaired by Ken Roemer. "Reconstructive Encounters: American Indian Literatures and American Classics" will provide the following, provocative papers:

"Geographies of Literature/ Literatures of Geography" Kathryn Shaney Vangen, University of Washington
"'Tracking the Native Presence' in the 17th Century" Emory Elliott, Princeton University
"Mark Twain and the 'Real' Indians: Huck and Jim in the Territories" Carter Revard, Washington University
"In Sickness and in Health" Paul Lauter, Trinity College

From Helen Jaskoski:

Response to the news that SAIL is resuming publication has been very heartening, with many people offering help along with their subscriptions. We have received some fine submissions, with promises of more, and publishers are eager to see their books reviewed in SAIL.

Unfortunately, our mailing list is not as complete as we would like. The old mailing list for SAIL has not been available, and it is possible that some former subscribers to SAIL have not received the announcement of resumed publication. This may be especially true of libraries. I would like to ask a favor of all "Notes" readers; to check your institution's library to see if it used to have a subscription to SAIL, or if the library would be willing to subscribe (presently, the institutional price is the same as the individual subscription price--a real bargain). Also, anyone who had a subscription to SAIL but not to "ASAIL Notes" probably has not received the announcement; if you know someone in this situation you can do that person a favor by passing on the news that SAIL is again operational. For subscription and other information, {2} contact me, address at the end of this note.

This problem also highlights the occasional confusion regarding the relationship between ASAIL, the organization; "ASAIL Notes," the newsletter; and SAIL, the journal. Sometimes, people are not aware which publication they should be getting, or even that the organization or the other publications exist.

I would like to suggest that ASAIL, the Association, discuss the following proposal at the annual meeting at MLA in December, and make a decision regarding the relationship between the organization and the publications. Briefly, I propose that SAIL and "ASAIL Notes" should be the official publications of ASAIL, the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures. Members would join ASAIL by paying annual membership dues and would receive both publications. This would mean a slightly higher amount for everyone ($12 per year if the present subscriptions for "ASAIL Notes" and SAIL were combined). It would also mean that everyone would receive both publications. It might also be possible to combine some issues of "ASAIL Notes" and SAIL, thereby cutting down on mailing costs.

Helen Jaskoski
Department of English & Comparative Literature
California State University
Fullerton, CA 92634



The Amerika Haus Program in Hannover last April included a presentation by Joe Bruchac entitled "Tales from the Abenaki and Iroquois Indians." The program included "songs and stories about the Abenaki from the Adirondack mountains and the Iroquois, as well as reading from his own poetry." (For other news from overseas, see the "Colleagues {3} and Programs Overseas" section.)

Jarold Ramsey has been appointed to the Committee on the Literatures and Languages of America. Since he joins Andy Wiget and Joy Harjo, the Association should be well represented.



As reported in our last issue, the Dictionary of Native American Literature project is progressing well. Editor Andrew Wiget will be working on it extensively this summer, and hopes to have it completed on schedule.

Leslie Silko's Storyteller has been re-released by Arcade Publishing (141 Fifth Ave., New York 10010).

Ken Roemer has two recent articles: "Moby Dick Meets the Navajo: Let the Indians Teach Us Our Classics" in The Chronicle of Higher Education and "Making Indian Literatures Fit" in the Heath Anthology of American Literature Newsletter. (Incidentally, the Heath Anthology promises to be a powerful collection, as mentioned in our last issue.)

A new publication has appeared in Logan, Utah. "Petroglyph is a literary journal that publishes creative natural history writing. Issues . . . are devoted to creative prose and poetry based on Nature and experiences in Nature." For information on submissions and/or subscriptions, write to Petroglyph, P.O. Box 3433, Logan, Utah 84321. (Karen McKibbin is the editor, and Barre Toelken is on the advisory board.)

The Greenfield Review Press has a new (1989) catalog out. Also, a release notifies us of Through Indian Eyes. "Published by Oyate Press, it is the second, and much enlarged {4} edition of a volume by the same name which appeared a year ago. . . . The purpose of the book is both to review the existing literature (by both Indians and non-Indians) for children on American Indian subjects and to provide guidelines for the future. It contains 250 pages of reviews, an exceptional bibliography, and one of the most extensive lists ever published of Native American publishers." For the new catalog, or to order the book, contact The Greenfield Review Press, 2 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center, New York 12833. (I hope that I do not betray Joe Bruchac, when I let it be known that he is at work on a new novel, set 4,000 years ago. It is entitled The Dawn Land. He has a new book of poetry out as well: Near the Mountains, from White Plains Press.)

Victor Golla, editor of the newsletter for The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, has moved to a position at Humbolt State University. The Society provides a forum for scholars of languages, and Golla's newsletter is an invaluable source of information on topics that include Indian literatures (as the note below on Vizenor's book attests). On a related note, the SSILA will have its Summer Meeting in Tucson from July 1-2.

Gerald Vizenor has edited Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Indian Literatures (1989, University of New Mexico Press). In this collection of essays, postmodem theory is used in discussions of contemporary American Indian authors (including Momaday and Silko)

ATLATL is a non-profit Native American arts service organization that produces "Native Arts Update," a newsletter that provides information about a variety of activities, including Native verbal arts. (Contributions are deductible, and provide several benefits, including the newsletter.) For information contact ATLATL office, 402 W. Roosevelt, Phoenix, AZ 85003.

Dartmouth recently produced the film A Way of Learning. Directed by the Canadian filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki), it examines the lives of Native Americans in the Ivy League, and asserts that a liberal arts education and maintenance of tribal identity need not conflict.

Joy Harjo has a new collection of poetry due out next spring from Wesleyan University Press. As with her other books, In Mad Love and War is a powerful work, as one of the pieces--"Day of the Dead"--published in last year's Calapooya Collage demonstrates.

This year the Collage will contain poetry from Native poets, but also a short piece by Dell Hymes: an analysis of "the form and meaning of a spontaneous dictation to Melville Jacobs" from the Sahaptin Joe Hunt.

The New York Times Book Review recently published a very favorable review of Paula Gunn Allen's new book: Spider Woman's Daughter: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women (Boston: Beacon Press). The review was written by Ursula Le Guin, which makes the praise even more compelling.

San Diego State University's Department of American Indian Studies is currently busy with several projects. They organize storytelling sessions, and work to collect stories from some of the tribal groups in Southern California (most recently on the Viejas Reservation). They have also published a book The Pow Wow. Moreover, Clifford Trafzer, the department's chair, is at work with "Richard Scheuerman of Washington State to edit the childhood memoirs of Humishuma-Mourning Dove." Such a work is long overdue. Together with Alanna Brown's recent article on voice in Cogewea (The Wicazo Sa Review) perhaps this often overlooked writer will come into her own.

Jim Barnes, Editor of The Chariton Review, notes that he and the Review are moving to the University of California, Riverside, as of 1 September. We wish him the best of luck in his new home.

Arnold Krupat's The Voice in the Margin: Native American Literature and the Canon is due for release in November from the University of California Press. He "argues that the literary expression of the indigenous peoples of the United States has claims on us to more than marginal attention."

And Susan Scarberry-Garcia's Landmarks of Healing: A Study of House Made of Dawn is to be published by the University of New Mexico Press next Spring. Mark it on your calendar, in case Susan is too modest to note it in next Spring's issue of "Notes."



Andrea Lerner is beginning work on a new book: "a collection of contemporary Native American plays. The book will feature the works of distinguished and widely recognized writers, but I am also hoping to offer the opportunity for young or emerging writers to get published." For information, contact her at the Department of English, Modern Languages Building, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.

The 47th International Congress of Americanists will meet in New Orleans, Louisiana July 7-11, 1991. Scholars interested in presenting papers or organizing symposia may communicate with:
Secretariado ICA 1991
Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies
Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118-5698, E.U.
Phone: 504-865-5164

George Day and Robert Gish are co-editors of Overland, the newsletter of the Western Literature Association. The association's conference will be held in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho this October (11-14), and they call for papers on "Native American Influence on Anglo- American Writers." "Send two copies and an abstract of your paper (10 pages, 20 minute presentation time) by July 10 to: Barbara Meldrum, President, Western Literature Association, Department of English, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843." Elizabeth Cook-Lynn will be one of the speakers for the conference.


Colleagues & Programs Overseas

The European Review of Native American Studies "features articles and shorter notes dealing with Native American subject matter from a variety of viewpoints: American Studies, anthropology, history, history of religions, languages, literatures, music, politics, popular culture, and visual arts are equally represented." The publication represents the European Association of Native American Studies, a growing association which holds annual conferences, and is comprised of well known scholars from all over Europe. The Review is edited and the association is headed by Christian F. Feest. For more information, or for a subscription ($20 U.S. a year), write to him at Museum für Völkerkunde, Neue Hofburg, A-1014 Wien, Austria.

One member, Dr. Rudolf Kaiser, has published an article on the origins of Chief Seattle's speech in Swann and Krupat's Recovering the Word, and is presently "occupied with the question of the historical origin and the present-day significance of the Hopi Prophecy." He has spent months at Hopi conducting research, and the results were recently published in Die Stimme des {8} Grossen Geistes--Prophezeiungen und Endzeiter wartungen der Hopi-Indianer. München, Kösel Verlag, 1989.

A recent subscriber, Wolfgang Hochbruck, notes that his institution--Albert-Ludwigs- Universitat--is hosting a conference this month "dealing with the transfer of oral knowledge into print, with three of the lectures/papers concentrating on Native literature topics." Hopefully, we will see articles from the conference in print (perhaps in Brian Swann's proposed book, mentioned in the last "Notes"?).


From the Editor:

I must apologize for the late the production of this issue. Since the March release, we have experienced a reduction in the amount of material submitted for the newsletter, and of subscription dues to produce it (only 45 of our 550 subscribers have paid thus far), so rather than print two issues for Spring and Summer, I opted for one.

On a related note, I will be in Germany next year on a Fulbright, so Susan Scarberry-Garcia has graciously agreed to assume the duties of editor for the ten months of my stay overseas. As of this writing, she envisions two issues for the year, one in November and one in March or May, so any correspondence or submission of material should go to the address below, and any funds to help produce "Notes," as well. I want to thank her for kind help. Best wishes to you all.

Susan Scarberry-Garcia
Department of English
Fort Lewis College
Durango, CO 81301