About the Book
Oklahoma is bound to both the South and the Southwest and their legacies of conquest and Indigenous survivance. At the same time, mobility, ingenuity, cultural exchange, and creative expression—all part of the experience of urbanization—have been fundamental to people of the tribes that call this place home. Tulsa, New Orleans, and Santa Fe, with their importance in histories of geopolitical upheaval and mobility that shaped the establishment of the United States, are key to uncovering the history of urbanization experienced by Native Americans from Oklahoma.
Urban Homelands, while examining the overlooked histories of Oklahoma Indigenous urbanization relative to these regions, engages literature and film as not just mirrors of experience but as producers of it. Lindsey Claire Smith brings the work of three-time poet laureate Joy Harjo into conversation with the great Cherokee playwright Lynn Riggs and breakout filmmaker Sterlin Harjo. Flying in the face of civic landmarks and settler histories that at once obscure Native origins and appropriate Native culture for tourism, this creative reclaiming of Indigenous cities points toward the productive possibilities of recognizing untold urban histories and the creative relationships with urban space itself.
Lindsey Claire Smith is a professor of English and affiliate of American Indian Studies at Oklahoma State University. She is the editor of American Indian Quarterly, author of Indians, Environment, and Identity on the Borders of American Literature, and coeditor of Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism, and American Studies.
“In addition to a compelling grasp of urban studies scholarship, Lindsey Claire Smith shows great expertise in swiftly connecting the threads of Indigenous history in three cities—New Orleans, Tulsa, and Santa Fe—through comprehensive historical documentation. This study is rigorous, yet accessible to a wide audience. Urban Homelands makes a timely contribution to contemporary Native and Indigenous studies and urban studies. A must-read.”—Cristina Stanciu, author of The Makings and Unmakings of Americans: Indians and Immigrants in American Literature and Culture, 1879–1924