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Transcultural Zone: Hybridity and Frontier Theory in Callahan’s Wynema: A Child of the Forest.
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The terms “Indian” and “Native American” do not only signify the indigenous peoples of America, but also includes stereotypical features and descriptions that are created by the Euro-Americans. The aim of this essay is to investigates what Indian identity is in Alice Callahan’s novel Wynema: A Child of the Forest (1981), and whether it promotes Indian stereotype or not. The novel is analysed through Arnold Krupat’s notion of ethnocritisicm, Louis Owens’ idea frontier discourse, and Gerald Vizenor’s theory of trickster strategies. Wynema promotes hybridity in a frontier space, transcultural zone, where Native American and Euro-American cultures meet and communicate with each other. Through parallel narration, and trickster strategies, the novel forces the reader to reflect upon cultural differences, and thus partly deconstructs “Indianness.” Wynema also narrates a utopian world to describe how Indian and Euro-American society could interchange with each other without force or oppression. However, the novel also promotes Euro-American education, and civilization, which also means that uneducated, fullblood Indians are not a part of the future. The novel reflects how complex Indian identity is, and that it is not a static identity, but ever changing. It also describes that Indian identity must change in order to survive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 27 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27813OAI: diva2:824000
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2015-06-22 Created: 2015-06-19 Last updated: 2015-06-22Bibliographically approved

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