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Potomac Books


Deep Waters, Deep Waters, 080322849X, 0-8032-2849-X, 978-0-8032-2849-8, 9780803228498, Christopher B. Teuton , , Deep Waters, 0803234368, 0-8032-3436-8, 978-0-8032-3436-9, 9780803234369, Christopher B. Teuton

Deep Waters
The Textual Continuum in American Indian Literature
Christopher B. Teuton

2010. 272 pp.
$40.00 s

Weaving connections between indigenous modes of oral storytelling, visual depiction, and contemporary American Indian literature, Deep Waters demonstrates the continuing relationship between traditional and contemporary Native American systems of creative representation and signification. Christopher B. Teuton begins with a study of Mesoamerican writings, Diné sand paintings, and Haudenosaunee wampum belts. He proposes a theory of how and why indigenous oral and graphic means of recording thought are interdependent, their functions and purposes determined by social, political, and cultural contexts.

The center of this book examines four key works of contemporary American Indian literature by N. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, Ray A. Young Bear, and Robert J. Conley. Through a textually grounded exploration of what Teuton calls the oral impulse, the graphic impulse, and the critical impulse, we see how and why various types of contemporary Native literary production are interrelated and draw upon long-standing indigenous methods of creative representation. Teuton breaks down the disabling binary of orality and literacy, offering readers a cogent, historically informed theory of indigenous textuality that allows for deeper readings of Native American cultural and literary expression.

Christopher B. Teuton (Cherokee Nation) is an associate professor of English at the University of Denver. He is coeditor and coauthor of Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective.

"Articulating a much-needed change in the way scholars approach Native American literatures, Teuton's thought-provoking study redefines one's sense of the relationship between tradition and modernity and poses significant questions for further research and work in the field."—C.L. Sheffield, Choice

"Christopher Teuton's study of four American Indian writers . . . offers a useful model for theorizing the interdependence of oral and written traditions within Indigenous communities."—Lindsey Claire Smith, Great Plains Quarterly

Publication of this volume was assisted by The Virginia Faulkner Fund, established in memory of Virginia Faulkner, editor in chief of the University of Nebraska Press.

Also of Interest

Tribal Theory in Native American Literature
Penelope Myrtle Kelsey

Toward a Native American Critical Theory
Elvira Pulitano

Artistry in Native American Myths
Karl Kroeber

Gerald Vizenor