Vol. VIII, No. 3                             May 1991


"Sometimes we're two batteries in a flashlight case, and it is for the unexpected connection that I fend, foot the bills, worry, front, and struggle."
      Michael Dorris & Louise Erdrich The Crown of Columbus.



Editor's Note                               Page 1
Association News                       Page 1
Books&Articles                          Page 2
People                                         Page 4
Calls                                            Page 6
Gatherings                                  Page 7



is published three times a year, with funding from Central Oregon Community College, for the Association for the Study of Native American Literatures. Due dates for publication are October 15, February 15 and May 15. Send news-worthy materials or subscription fees to:

John Purdy
Humanities Division
Central Oregon Community College
2600 College Way
Bend, OR 97701
After 1 July, please send all future correspondence to:
John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225

Association News

Association president Franchot Ballinger has announced that the ballots have been counted, and the by-laws have passed. So, at next year's MLA convention, the business meeting will be very important for us all. Elections will he held for the positions of president and treasurer, but the incorporation talks will continue as well. Among other issues to be discussed will he whether or not the association should initiate its own conference, a gathering distinct from the MLA convention. All members are urged to attend since dues to the association will increase next year, as reported in Studies in American Indian Literatures and in keeping with the decisions made at the last business meeting, this is an opportunity for those who can travel to San Francisco to exercise their membership privileges. For those who cannot make it to the convention yet wish to contribute their ideas, please put them on paper and send them to any of the officers, or to me. We will insure that your voice will be heard.



As of the first of July, ASAIL Notes and I will have a new home. From that date forward, please address all correspondence, news, queries and subscription fees to me at the Department of English. Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225. I look forward to the new position. and to the resources that will be available to help me find and publish worthy news for our readers. However, I hope that you will continue to drop me {2} notes with information that cannot be readily found elsewhere. Without your help, your support, Notes would not be.

Books and Articles

Gerald Vizenor has two books due for release from Wesleyan University Press: a novel, Heirs of Columbus, and a collection of short fiction entitled Landfill Meditations.

Vizenor has also become the editor of a new series of books from the University of Oklahoma Press. To date, the series purpose is to publish works of criticism on Native American literatures, prose, fiction and selected reprints of books out of print. The first two books in the series will be released next year: a novel and a critical study of Native American novelists, both by Louis Owens. For information about the series, contact Vizenor (after July 1st) at: Native American Studies, 3415 Dwinelle Hall, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720.

The Crown of Columbus, Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich's novel about Columbus--filtered through the lives and travails of two contemporary professors at Dartmouth--was released recently by Harper Collins.

The editors of Studies inAmerican Indian Literatures have announced that they no longer have copies of the journals Volume 2, Number 1 left for sale.

On the Translation of Native American Literatures, edited by Brian Swann, is due for release late this fall from the {3} Smithsonian Institution Press. The book is a collection of essays from noted scholars in the field of translation. Grouped into three parts, it covers a wide range of issues, and Native American groups from both North, Central, and South America, striking a balance between the general concerns of translation, and the specific intricacies of individual tribal literatures.

Black Elk's Story: Distinguishing Its Lakota Purpose, by Julian Rice, is due out this month from the University of New Mexico Press. As stated in a press release, "[t]his indispensable study is the first to discuss thoroughly all the major Black Elk material and the various critical approaches to it. The result is a rich dialogue with Black Elk and Lakota culture that will be of value to literary critics, anthropologists, and other students of Native American culture[s]."

The Collected Works of Edward Sapir. Volume VIII: Takelma Texts and Grammar. Edited by Victor Golla. Mouton de Gruyter, 1990. This volume, released last year, contains both Sapir's doctoral dissertation--The Takelma Language of Southwestern Oregon (1912)--and Takelma Texts (1909).*

Nez Perce Narratives. Haruo Aoki & Deward E. Walker. This collection contains 76 texts narrated by Samuel M. Watters and Elizabeth Wilson.*

Three recent publications through the Canadian Museum of Civilization may be of interest:

Tsimshian Narratives 1: Tricksters, Shamans and Heroes. Collected by Marius Barbeau & William Beynon. Edited by John J. Cove & George F. MacDonald. ($19.95, Canadian)*

Tsimshian Narratives 2: Trade and Warfare. Collected by Marius Barbeau & William Beynon. Edited by John J. Cove & George F. MacDonald. ($15.95, Canadian)*

Power and Performance in Gros Ventre War Expedition Songs. Orin T. Hatton. ($11.95, Canadian)*

For information or orders write Mail Order Services, Publishing Division, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier St., Hull, Quebec J8X 4112, Canada.

* These entries were taken from the SSILA Newsletter, a very extensive and useful publication in Indigenous languages, and texts. For information, contact Victor Golla, Editor, Department of Ethnic Studies, Humbolt State University, Arcata, CA 95521.


There are a few fellowships still available for Native American graduate students at the University of Arizona. If you know of someone who would be interested, please ask them to contact: Larry Evers, Department of English, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.

Last year, while on a Fulbright in Germany, I had the great and good fortune to meet several European colleagues who share an interest in the study of Native American literatures, cultures and languages. Despite the limitations faced by each--difficulties in finding reference information on publications dealing with specific topics, and then long delays for research materials and books published in North America--each person I met was not only highly knowledgeable of current publications and research, but also very enthusiastically willing to share ideas, insights, and their own current research projects.

Since my return I have toyed with the idea of publishing the addresses of our readers from other continents, in the hope of spurring more individual contact between scholars and helping overcome the limitations of long-distance research. However, I do not want to {5} invade the privacy of any of our readers, so in the best interests of compromise, I would like to offer to publish in future issues of Notes the address of any reader interested in finding contacts elsewhere. If you would like to correspond with someone with similar interests in research, if you would like to establish contacts with someone in the U.S. or elsewhere who teaches courses you find interesting, if you would like to learn about the reception of Indian literatures in Italian universities, please send your request to me, with permission to publish your address. Hopefully, this "bulletin board" will supplement the other sections of Notes, and foster further exchange between our readers around the world.

There are, of course, some interesting things going on in Europe. As mentioned in past issues of Notes, the European Association of American Studies meets annually, and includes sessions on Native American literatures. The 1990 convention--held in London--focused on the Victorian era, and the Native American workshop provided the following papers:

Helga Lumer "James Welch's Novel Fools Crow: Value Transition Among the Blackfeet after White Contact in the 1870s."

Franco Meli, "C.A. Eastman: An Indian Doctor at Wounded Knee. . .and beyond that."

Susan P. Pèrez-Castillo, "A Stranger from a Distant Country: The Captivity Narrative of John Tanner."

Wolfgang Hochbruck, "Between Victorian Tract and Native American Novel: Simon Pokagon's Ogi-Mäw-Kwe Miti-gwä-ki."

There is also the European Review of Native American Studies--Christian F. Feest, editor/publisher--which publishes articles on Native cultures, including Native American literatures. For information write to him at the Museum für Völkerkunde, A1014 Wien. Austria.


During the last year, I have received several requests from readers for a bibliography of Native American literatures for children. Although I am familiar with specific works, such as those of Joseph Bruchac, and know that at least two writers are at work currently on children's books, I have never found a bibliography with this specific focus. So, if you know of any sources/resources in this area of study, I would appreciate a note so that I could pass along the information to those who have requested it, and also place it in Notes for our readers.

The Northwest Indian College and Western Washington University announce The Hubless Wheel: A Reading Series of Minority and Ethnic Writers. The series "will bring writers active in defining self outside the pale, in giving voice to marginalized perspectives, in awakening those inexperienced with cultural diversity, and in configuring their own unique positions between the forces of assimilation and of the tradition." The directors of the series are looking for eminent writers, but "are most interested in emerging writers--those who have not received the audience their work justly deserves." All readers chosen for the series will receive "equal honoraria and the strongest publicity we can muster. Please send rèsumès and requests for information to":

Omar S. Castañeda
Department of English
Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA 98225
(206) 647-6104

The deadline has been extended for a proposed anthology of previously unpublished essays on how Native American oral traditions have portrayed cultural contact, past and present, between Native Americans and Europeans, be-{7}tween Native Americans and Afro-Americans, etc. Papers examining specific myths or other stories (especially newly collected texts) are particularly welcome.

Completed papers (MLA citation style), SASE, SAS postcard (for acknowledgement), will be accepted until August 1991. For submissions or information, write to:

Franchot Ballinger
Mail Location 205
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221

The school year is almost over, and this is the last issue before Notes moves to Western Washington University. Although all of you must be looking forward to the summer and, I hope, to vacations, I ask everyone to take a few seconds over the next few months to write down any news you may think of interest to our readers. This is, of course, a world-wide call, and with luck, our November issue will be full of useful information. Good thoughts.


The 13th Annual American Indian Language Development Institute will be held at the University of Arizona in Tucson, from June 3rd to the 28th. "For 13 years the AILDI has provided educators with unique opportunities to study Native American languages and cultures, and to develop bilingual/bicultural curricula for Indian classrooms." This year's institute will include a section offering participants "poetry readings and the study of Native American literatures with tribal elders, and with Luci Tapahonso, and Drs. Ofelia Zepeda, Greg Sarris and Larry Evers." For information on the institute, housing and financial assistance, write to Dr. Ofelia Zepeda or Dr. Teresa McCarty, AILDI Codirectors, College of Education, box 309, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (602) 621-1311/7108.

In June last year in San Jose, Costa Rica, the International Symposium on Latin American Indian Literatures met for the eighth time. The meetings lasted a week and, as the SSILA Newsletter reports, 43 papers were given. For information on the Latin American Indian Literatures Association, or their symposium, write to Jill Furst, Treasurer, LAILA, P.O. Box 302, Devon, PA 19333.