Gina  Caison-Red States: Indigeneity

Gina Caison

Bio

Gina Caison is an assistant professor of English at Georgia State University where she teaches courses in American literature, southern literature, Native American literatures, and documentary practices. Her book Red States: Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Southern Studies was published in 2018 from UGA Press, and her co-edited collection Small-Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television (2017) is available from LSU Press. In addition to these projects, Dr. Caison’s work has appeared in academic journals including The Global South, Mississippi Quarterly, The Simms Review, and PMLA. She has also been a short-term research fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and the Southern Historical Collection, and she has participated in NEH-sponsored programs at the Newberry Library, UNC-Chapel Hill’s American Indian Center, and Georgia College & State University’s Flannery O’Connor Collection. She is producer and host of the weekly podcast About South.

Sessions

Reading Indigenous Stories Against the Grain

The first book of its kind, Mandy Suhr-Sytsma's Self-Determined Stories: The Indigenous Reinvention of Young Adult Literature reads Indigenous-authored YA—from school stories to speculative fiction— not only as a vital challenge to stereotypes but also as a rich intellectual resource for theorizing Indigenous sovereignty in the contemporary era. Gina Caison argues in her book, Red States, Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Southern Studies that popular misconceptions of Native American identity in the U.S. South can be understood by tracing how non-Native audiences in the region came to imagine indigeneity through the presentation of specious histories presented in regional literary texts, and she examines how Indigenous people work against these narratives to maintain sovereign land claims in their home spaces through their own literary and cultural productions. Join these two authors as they discuss how we can read indigenous stories against the grain.

Moderator: LeAnne Howe

LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and filmmaker. Her book, Choctalking on Other Realities, won the inaugural 2014 MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. She is the Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature in English at the University of Georgia. Her most recent book is the novel, Savage Conversations.

  • Marriott Conference Center Auditorium
  • Sun 12:00-12:45p Marriott Auditorium

Red States: Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Souther Studies

Red States uses a regional focus in order to examine the tenets of white southern nativism and Indigenous resistance to colonialism in the U.S. South. Gina Caison argues that popular misconceptions of Native American identity in the U.S. South can be understood by tracing how non-Native audiences in the region came to imagine indigeneity through the presentation of specious histories presented in regional literary texts, and she examines how Indigenous people work against these narratives to maintain sovereign land claims in their home spaces through their own literary and cultural productions. As Caison demonstrates, these conversations in the U.S. South have consequences for how present-day conservative political discourses resonate across the United States. Assembling a newly constituted archive that includes regional theatrical and musical performances, pre-Civil War literatures, and contemporary novels, Caison illuminates the U.S. South’s continued investment in settler colonialism and the continued Indigenous resistance to this paradigm. Ultimately, she concludes that the region is indeed made up of red states, but perhaps not in the way readers initially imagine.

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