This vast advent to Colonial American literatures brings out the comparative and transatlantic nature of the writing of this era and highlights the interactions among local, non-scribal teams, and Europeans that helped to form early American writing.
Situates the writing of this era in its numerous old and cultural contexts, together with colonialism, imperialism, diaspora, and kingdom formation.
Highlights interactions among local, non-scribal teams and Europeans through the early centuries of exploration.
Covers quite a lot of methods to defining and studying early American writing.
Looks on the improvement of local spheres of impact within the 17th and eighteenth centuries.
Serves as an essential adjunct to Castillo and Schweitzer's 'The Literatures of Colonial the US: An Anthology' (Blackwell Publishing, 2001).
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But Jefferson and all others who assumed the illiteracy of Native North America were wrong. Indigenous peoples of the early Americas cultivated intricate literate traditions in forms ranging from oral narratives, songs, and ceremonies to inscribed Mayan and Mixtec codices, from Ojibwe birchbark scrolls to woven Iroquoian wampum belts, and from painted Siouian winter counts to the rock pictographs and pottery of the Puebloan Southwest. Archeologists have recently discovered evidence that the Olmec peoples of southern Mexico developed a system 30 Joanna Brooks of symbolic writing as early as 650 BC and that these Olmec symbols influenced later writing systems among the Mayans.
One might ask, for example, how comparative work that locates similarities between enforced slavery in the Caribbean and plantation slavery in North America could be nuanced or changed by an examination of the differences between these systems and that of the encomienda in much of the rest of the Caribbean and ‘‘Latin’’ America. While comparison of different local situations may yield a new awareness of the larger shared and intersecting systems at work in them, it may also reveal locally exceptional qualities whose meanings and ramifications might have been unrecognized were comparisons with other colonial situations not engaged.
The trick, he suggests, may be to reconstruct a number of synchronous stories, rather than choosing one as the only reading of the ‘‘meaning’’ of an event or practice. Notes White, ‘‘Lefebvre points the way to a history that does not have to choose among local, regional, national, and transnational, but can establish shifting relations among them’’ (White 1999: 979). Both White and Lefebvre draw their examples from the practices and products of modernity. How might students of colonialism read colonial products, practices, and subjectivities as particularly closed and porous, regional and crossed by spaces other than the region?