In its consideration of American Indian literature as a rich and exciting body of work, The Voice in the Margin invites us to broaden our notion of what a truly inclusive American literature might be, and of how it might be placed in relation to an international—a "cosmopolitan"—literary canon. The book comes at a time when the most influential national media have focused attention on the subject of the literary canon. They have made it an issue not merely of academic but of general public concern, expressing strong opinions on the subject of what the American student should or should not read as essential or core texts. Is the literary canon simply a given of tradition and history, or is it, and must it be, constantly under construction? The question remains hotly contested to the present moment.
Arnold Krupat argues that the literary expression of the indigenous peoples of the United States has claims on us to more than marginal attention. Demonstrating a firm grasp of both literary history and contemporary critical theory, he situates Indian literature, traditional and modern, in a variety of contexts and categories. His extensive knowledge of the history and current theory of ethnography recommends the book to anthropologists and folklorists as well as to students and teachers of literature, both canonical and noncanonical. The materials covered, the perspectives considered, and the learning displayed all make The Voice in the Margin a major contribution to the exciting field of contemporary cultural studies.
This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1989.