Indigenous Textual Cultures

9781478009764: Hardback
Release Date: 11th September 2020

9781478010814: Paperback
Release Date: 11th September 2020

15 illustrations

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 376

Duke University Press Books

Indigenous Textual Cultures

Reading and Writing in the Age of Global Empire

The contributors to Indigenous Textual Cultures examined the ways in which indigenous peoples created textual cultures to navigate, shape, and contest empire, colonialism, and modernity.
Hardback / £87.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.
Paperback / £22.99
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

As modern European empires expanded, written language was critical to articulations of imperial authority and justifications of conquest. For imperial administrators and thinkers, the non-literacy of “native” societies demonstrated their primitiveness and inability to change. Yet as the contributors to Indigenous Textual Cultures make clear through cases from the Pacific Islands, Australasia, North America, and Africa, indigenous communities were highly adaptive and created novel, dynamic literary practices that preserved indigenous knowledge traditions. The contributors illustrate how modern literacy operated alongside orality rather than replacing it. Reconstructing multiple traditions of indigenous literacy and textual production, the contributors focus attention on the often hidden, forgotten, neglected, and marginalized cultural innovators who read, wrote, and used texts in endlessly creative ways. This volume demonstrates how the work of these innovators played pivotal roles in reimagining indigenous epistemologies, challenging colonial domination, and envisioning radical new futures.

Contributors. Noelani Arista, Tony Ballantyne, Alban Bensa, Keith Thor Carlson, Evelyn Ellerman, Isabel Hofmeyr, Emma Hunter, Arini Loader, Adrian Muckle, Lachy Paterson, Laura Rademaker, Michael Reilly, Bruno Saura, Ivy T. Schweitzer, Angela Wanhalla

Tony Ballantyne is Pro-Vice-Chancellor in the Division of Humanities at the University of Otago in New Zealand. His many books include Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Māori, and the Question of the Body, also published by Duke University Press.

Lachy Paterson is Professor at the University of Otago's Te Tumu School of Māori, Pacific, and Indigenous Studies.

Angela Wanhalla is Associate Professor of History at the University of Otago.