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I. Genealogy of American Studies

II. Myth and Symbol

III. Social Sciences

IV. Marxisms

V.Poststructuralisms and Postmodernisms

VI. Gender, Race, Sexuality

VII. Historical Theories

VIII. Literary Theories

IX. Cultural Studies

X. Postcolonial

XI. Theorizing Interdisciplinarity

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VI. Theorizing Difference and Commonality: Gender, Sexuality, Race/Ethnicity, and Their Intersections


  The breakdown of notions of American exceptionalism and class consensus analyzed in Section IV, was driven in large part by social movements of the 1960s. Those movements also set in motion a profound rethinking and rewriting of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and other modalities of "difference" that further challenged monolithic conceptions of Americanness. This process was fueled by the rise of ethnic and women's studies within and outside AS. And the new scholarly attention payed to previously marginalized subjects of history deeply reshaped theories and methods of study.

This category in particular points up the inadequacies of categorization, especially in interdisciplinary work. Separating race from gender from sexuality from my other categories threatens to re-marginalize them just as they are claiming their centrality to any cultural analysis. Hence I have also placed works reexamining these topics in other sections, cross-referencing some of them here. In addition, while separating racial studies from gender studies from sexuality studies serves to highlight their respective evolutions and achievements, it does so at the cost of obscuring multiple identities and complex interactions. Thus each subsection is structured to move towards points of intersection with the other categories.2

And I employ this collective category not to ghettoize or collapse distinctions but to highlight interconnections, to point to important work that cuts across several sub-groupings, and to suggest that many of the writers cited here share a set of theoretical concerns emerging from a reconceptualization of relations between putative cultural "centers" and "margins." To this end, I've concentrated on work that refuses to simply "add in" race, ethnicity or gender or sexuality but that claims that attention to any one in isolation, let alone in combination, entails totally reconceptualzing what has been called the "mainstream."

Feminist, gay/lesbian/queer, racial and ethnic theory have had a profound impact on all levels and kinds of humanities and social science scholarship. Thus these works should be read as at once substantive contributions to their fields, and as critiques of the inadequate theorization of gender, race, sexuality and other constructions of cultural difference in traditional AS work (as well as in humanities and social science scholarship generally). For the stake of ease of operation I have divided the sections below into Gender, Sexuality, and Race/Ethnicty, but I want to stress that the best current work, including much scholarship cited below, is being done at the intersections of these and related modalities of difference (especially class, which is central in Section IV, among other places).

ALL CITATIONS IN THIS BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE ARRANGED CHRONO-TOPICALLY, NOT ALPHABETICALLY, TO GIVE A SENSE OF THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENTS EMERGING OVER TIME.

On-line Resources

FEMINIST AND GENDER THEORIES
Chmaj, Betty, ed. American Women and American Studies. Pittsburgh, PA: Know Press, 1971.

---. Image, Myth and Beyond: American Women and American Studies, Vol. 2. Pittsburg, PA: Know Press, 1972.
These two collections exemplify early efforts to link AS to the then emerging field of Women's Studies.

Baxter, Annette. "Women's Studies and American Studies: The Uses of the Interdisciplinary." American Quarterly 26 (1974): 433-439.
Review essay of early feminist AS work.

Abel, Elizabeth, and Emily Abel, eds. The 'Signs' Reader: Women, Gender, and Scholarship. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1983.

Keohane, Nannerl, et. al., eds. Feminist Theory: A Critique of Ideology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
This volume and the Abel volume above are collections of essays culled from Signs, one of the preeminent American journals of feminist theory. Both volumes contain brilliant essays on topics ranging across a wide variety of social science and humanities disciplines and interdisciplines, representing the state of the art in feminist scholarship in the early 1980s. In the Keohane collection, see especially pieces by MacKinnon, Jehlen, and Marcus.

Baym, Nina. "Melodramas of Beset Manhood: How Theories of American Literature Exclude Women." Elaine Showalter, ed. The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, Theory. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1985.
A very influential article which demonstrates some of the ways in which a bias towards masculinist definitions of heroism have effectively devalued the literature produced by women and theorized the "major tradition" of American letters as male.

Tompkins, Jane. "Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Politics of Literary History." Elaine Showalter. The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, Theory. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1985.
Coming at the same problematic as Baym from the other side, Tompkins argues that one important, largely female tradition of writing, the sentimental novel, has been devalued and systematically misrepresented through the universalization of a particular, restrictive set of criteria for literary value.

Anzaldua, Gloria, and CherrĂ­e Moraga, eds.This Bridge Called My Back. New York, NY: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, 1983.
While women of color played key roles in feminist movements from the beginning, racism preventing them from being recognized as central figures. This landmark collection of "critical and creative" writings by women of color changed all that, leading to a profound rethinking of race and gender, while also challenging narrow definitions of "theory" by arguing for fiction, poetry, and other forms of writing as theory.

de Lauretis, Teresa, ed. Feminist Studies/Critical Studies. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986.
A rich collection of essays surveying the state of feminist cultural theory across a range of disciplines. De Lauretis's introduction is an important contribution to theory itself, and virtually all of the articles make significant contributions to the current state of cultural theory.

Eagleton, Mary. Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader. London and New York, NY: Basil Blackwell, 1988.
A very wide-ranging sampling of brief excerpts from classic and contemporary examples of feminist criticism that can be useful for gaining a general historical overview.

Fraser, Nancy. Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1989.
A series of essays analyzing various recent theorists (Foucault, Derrida, Rorty, Habermas) in terms of their usefulness and limits for feminist theory and practice. Concludes with an exemplary analysis of women and the welfare system that applies aspects of the various theorists surveyed.

"Feminism and Deconstruction." Special issue of FS: Feminist Studies 14 (1988).
See especially the article by Poovey and the dissenting arguments of Christian.

Newton, Judith, and Deborah Rosenfelt eds. Feminist Criticism and Social Change: Sex, Class and Race in Literature and Culture. New York, NY and London: Methuen, 1985.
The introduction, the essays by Jones and Smith, and Lauter's piece on the American canon, are of particular interest.

Showalter, Elaine ed. The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, Theory. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1985.
An accessible collection with a number of essays of special relevance to Americanists. In addition to the Tompkins, Smith and Baym articles cited elsewhere in this section, see especially the pieces by Kolodny, Showalter and Zimmerman.

Smith, Barbara. "Towards a Black Feminist Criticism." Elaine Showalter. The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, Theory. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1985.
A landmark statement of the inadequacy of white feminist theory to treat the different realities of black women in the US, this essay also outlined an agenda of black feminist research much of which remains to be accomplished.

hooks, bell. Feminist Theory: From the Margins to the Center. Boston, MAa: South End Press, 1984.
Key text in the insurgency of women of color from "the margins to the center" of feminist thought and action.

Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Boston, MA: Unwin Hyman, 1990.
Landmark book in the development of African American feminist theory, balances theory and practice, experience and reflection in surveying "black feminist thought" in a variety of spaces and places, "high" and "low."

Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Donnellym Margarita, eds.The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology. New York, NY: Calyx Books, 1991.

Wong, Diane Yen-Mei, and Emilya Cachapero, eds. Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings by and About Asian American Women. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1989.

Kim, Elaine, and Lilia Villaneuva, eds. Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1997.
These three anthologies above provide a good sense of the evolution of Asian American feminist thought from the 1980s to the present.

Harjo, Joy, and Gloria Bird, eds. Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native American Women's Writings of North America. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Excellent collection demonstrating a range of approaches to rethinking race and gender from the perspectives of indigenous women.

Frankenberg, Ruth. White Women, Race Matters. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
Key work in the process of showing the necessity of "racializing whiteness" in order to deal with problems of racism within feminist theory and practice.

Sandoval, Chela. "US Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness in the Postmodern World." Genders 10 (1991): 1-24.
A brilliant article rethinking feminist and postmodern theory through the multiply positioned subjectivity of women of color. Argues that a "women of color feminism" offers strategic methods for transcending dilemmas created by positing various schools of feminist theory (radical, cultural, socialist, liberal, postmodern, etc.) as mutually exclusive. Reprinted and expanded upon in her book, Methodology of the Oppressed. (see below)

Hansen, Karen V., and Ilene J. Philipson, eds. Women, Class and the Feminist Imagination. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1990.
This "socialist-feminist reader" collects many of the most significant essays from the 60s, 70s, and 80s in which feminist scholars use, critique and debate the relevance of various marxist concepts and positions.

Weed, Elizabeth ed. Coming to Terms: Feminism, Theory, Politics. London and New York, NY: Routledge, 1989.
A brilliant collection of essays on feminist cultural/political interpretation influenced by post-structuralism. See especially the pieces by Miller and Haraway.

Haraway, Donna. Simians, Cyborgs and Women. London and New York, NY: Routledge, 1991.
Ten brilliant and influential essays on a range of topics, from the famous "Cyborg Manifesto" and "Situated Knowledges," to essays on feminist theory for science studies. King, Katie. Feminist Theory in Its Travels. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1994. Offers a brilliant argument about the social and intellectual struggles that have shaped what counts as feminist theory, and what the dominant trends in feminist thinking have been over time as driven by the evolution of women's movements.

Kolmar, Wendy, and France Bartkowski, eds. Feminist Theory: A Reader. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 1999.
Offers a wide-ranging survey of feminist thought for the 18th to the late 20th centuries. The breadth means sacrificing depth, with many pieces severely condensed, but it is a very useful survey to get a sense of major developments over time.

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene, Robin Lydenberg, and Chris Gilmartin, eds. Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology: An Interdisciplinary Reader. Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Especially useful in its interdiscipilinary, comparative approach.
LESBIAN, GAY, QUEER THEORIES
Cruikshank, Margaret, ed. Lesbian Studies. Old Westbury, NY: The Feminist Press, 1982.
Pioneering collection on approaches to lesbian literature, culture, and history.

"The Lesbian Issue." Special issue of the feminist journal Signs 9 (1984).
A more systematic attempt to theorize "lesbianism" as a cultural location. See especially the essays by Vicinus, Newton, Zimmerman, and Kennard.

"Displacing Homophobia." Special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly 88 (1989).
Rich collection of gay male theory for literary and cultural study.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Epistemology of the Closet. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990.
Very influential study in the rise of "queer theory." Shows the centrality of homo/heterosexual identity formations to the construction of knowledge in virtually every arena of scholarship, but with particular attention paid to literary texts.

de Lauretis, Teresa, ed. "Queer Theory: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities." Special issue of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 2 (1991).
Influential essays establishing the concept of "queer theory."

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. New York, NY and London: Routledge, 1990.
Influential as one of the sources of queer theory in that it denormativizes all genders. Uses Lacan and Foucault to argue that "gender" is a kind of unstable, constantly reiterated performance.

Fuss, Diana, ed. Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories. London and New York, NY: Routledge, 1991.
A collection of very sophisticated multidisciplinary essays theorizing gay and lesbian studies as a key matrix of cultural analysis. As the subtitle suggests, the book insists on showing ways in which lesbianism and male homosexuality produce differing theoretical issues and paradigms, but like Kosofsky's book above, the anthology's larger claim is that the terms "gay" and "lesbian" are not of interest in marking the margins of culture, but rather ones essential for understanding the construction of cultural forms and identities by the so-called mainstream as well.

Abelove, Henry, et. al., eds. Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. London and New York, NY: Routledge, 1993.
A very comprehensive resource, with historical, literary and cultural articles, and an extensive bibliography.

Weed, Elizabeth, and Naomi Shor, eds. Feminism Meets Queer Theory. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Excellent pieces collected from a special issue of the journal differences.

Warner, Michael, ed. Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
Excellent collection theorizing "queer" politics and cultural representations of homosexuality.

Somerville, Siobhan B. Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.
Brings queer theories and race theories together in an argument for the recognition of the color line as a key force in the construction of homosexuality in US history.

Berry, Ellen, Carol Siegel, and Thomas Foster, eds. The Gay Nineties: Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Formations in Queer Studies. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1997.
Excellent set of essays theorizing the location and nature of various queer studies paradigms.

Howard, John. Men Like That: A Southern Queer History. University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Winner of the AS dissertation prize, this book brilliantly and in detail explores communities of gay males in rural Mississippi, from the 1950s to 1985. Innovative in its conceptual complexity and imaginatively rich in its use of documentary and interview sources.

Floyd, Kevin. "Making History: Marxism, Queer Theory, and Contradiction in the Future of American Studies." Cultural Critique 40 (1998): 167-201.
Important, sympathetic critique of limits of queer theory when viewed in relation to political economy and questions of class. Includes important reflections on AS as a site for the cultural study of class and sex.

Jagose, Annamarie. Queer Theory: An Introduction. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1997.
Gives a history of gay/lesbian movement and a pre-history of queer studies, and thus situates queer theory in a larger context of social change. Lucid and succinct, but limited in its range of discussion of queer theories and theorists.

Turner, William B. A Genealogy of Queer Theory. Philadelphia, PA. Temple University Press, 2001.
A more advanced and theoretically rich introduction than the Jagose book above. Especially strong on the Foucaultian strain of queer theory. In contrast to Jagose, it is thinner on long-range historical context, but stronger on complexities of various queer theories.
RACE AND ETHNICITY
Hull, Gloria T., et. al., eds. But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies. Old Westbury, NY: Feminist Press, 1982.
Pathbreaking collection of essays and bibliographies tracing the intersections of women's studies, black studies, and AS.

Wall, Cheryl, ed. Changing Our Own Words. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1989.
A collection including some of the leading black feminist critics employing Bakhtin, post-structuralism and other critical theories to analyze writing by and about black women.

Gates, Jr., H.L., ed. Reading Black, Reading Feminist. New York, NY: Meriden Press, 1990.
Along with the Wall collection above, these two anthologies gather together important examples of black feminist literary scholarship from the 1980s, including historical surveys, theoretical readings, and studies of individual texts.

Carby, Hazel. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York, NY: Oxford, 1987.
A theoretically innovative re-writing of the genealogy of African-American intellectuals and writers, beginning with slave narratives and ending with the 1920s, that places women in a more central role and complicates the dialectic of rural and urban black experience.

Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, Second edition, 1994.
Critiques ethnicity-, class-, and nation-based models of race, then offers a brilliant social constructionist argument for the semi-autonomous power of "racial formations" through an analysis of trends in racial politics in the US since World War II. Extremely influential in the rise of "critical race" theories.

Baker, Jr., Houston. Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
Uses neo-marxism, post-structuralism, tropology and other recent critical theory to aid in rewriting the African-American literary tradition as working dialectically through and out of the vernacular (especially the blues) and the economic matrix of slavery.

Gates, Jr., Henry Louis. Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the 'Racial' Self. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1987.

---. The Signifying Monkey. Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Gates is one of the most consistently interesting American critics, and these two books include much of his finest work, using contemporary literary theory to argue the specificity of African-American literary and theoretical traditions.

Stepto, Robert. From Behind the Veil. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, [1979] 1991.
A landmark study tracing the key themes of "literacy" and "freedom" as they shape an African-American tradition in fictional and non-fictional prose from slave narratives to Invisible Man. This revised version of Stepto's classic includes a new preface and an afterward on the trope of reader distrust in African-American narratives.

Gates, Jr., Henry Louis, ed. Black Literature and Literary Theory. London and New York, NY: Methuen, 1984.
Collection of essays employing and critiquing structuralism and post-structuralism as tools for interpreting African and African-American texts. See especially Gates's introduction, and the essays by Benston, Stepto, and Johnson.

Asante, Molefi K. The Afrocentric Idea. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1987.
The most influential African (American) figure arguing for the ongoing importance of Africanisms on the black diaspora.

Smith, Barbara. "Towards a Black Feminist Criticism." Elaine Showalter. The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, Theory. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1985.
A landmark statement of the inadequacy of white feminist theory to treat the different realities of black women in the US, this essay also outlined an agenda of black feminist research much of which remains to be accomplished.

hooks, bell. Feminist Theory: From the Margins to the Center. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1984.
Key text in the insurgency of women of color from "the margins to the center" of feminist thought and action.

Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Boston, MA: Unwin Hyman, 1990.
Landmark book in the development of African American feminist theory, balances theory and practice, experience and reflection in surveying "black feminist thought" in a variety of spaces and places, "high" and "low."

duCille, Ann. Skin Trade Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.
Brilliant collection of essays examining and rethinking the rhetorical conventions used to theorize race. as well as the popular discourses that produce profound confusion in the culture around the category.

Anzaldua, Gloria, and CherrĂ­e Moraga, eds. This Bridge Called My Back. New York, NY: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, 1983.
While women of color played key roles in feminist movements from the beginning, racism preventing them from being recognized as central figures. This landmark collection of "critical and creative" writings by women of color changed all that, leading to a profound rethinking of race and gender, while also challenging narrow definitions of "theory" by arguing for fiction, poetry, and other forms of writing as theory.

---, ed. Making Face, Making Soul: Hacienda Caras. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lutte Foundation Press, 1990.
Important follow-up collection to This Bridge that contributes immensely to the rethinking of race, class, sexuality, and gender, while continuing to challenge narrow definitions of "theory" by arguing for fiction, poetry, and other forms of writing as theory.

Calderón, Hectór, and José David Saldívar, eds. Criticism in the Borderlands. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991.
Collects many of the most influential essays in theory and criticism of Chicano/a literature and culture from neo-Marxist, feminist, and new historicist vantage points. Includes a useful select, annotated bibliography.

Chabram, Angie, and Rosalinda Fregoso, eds. "Chicana/o Cultural Representations." Special issue of Cultural Studies 4.3 (1990).
Includes nine essays surveying the past, present and future of Chicano/a cultural studies (including film, literature, theatre, and ethnography), in terms of critical theories as well as institutional forms and practices. Key moment in the linkage of Chicana/o studies and cultural studies.

Saldívar, Ramon. Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.
Employs neo-marxist and deconstructionist approaches to a survey of narratives from Americo Paredes to Sandra Cisneros.

Rosaldo, Renato. Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston, MA: Beacon, 1989.
An unusually lucid, jargon-free and politically pragmatic introduction to key questions in "postmodern ethnography" with special reference to Chicano culture(s)

Noriega, Chon, ed. The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlan, 1970-2000. Los Angelas, CA: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2000.

Torres, Eden. Chicana Without Apology: The New Chicana Cultural Studies.
New York, NY: Routledge, 2003.

Limon, Jose. Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican South Texas. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.

Gaspar de Alba, Alicia.Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture and Chicana/o Sexualities. New York, NY: Palgrave, 2003.
Excellent study of Chicano/a pop culture as a challenge to mainstream pop, and to sexually limiting dimensions in Chicano/a culture.

Sandoval, Chela. "US Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness in the Postmodern World." Genders 10 (1991): 1-24.
A brilliant article rethinking feminist and postmodern theory through the multiply positioned subjectivity of women of color. Argues that a "women of color feminism" offers strategic methods for transcending dilemmas created by positing various schools of feminist theory (radical, cultural, socialist, liberal, postmodern, etc.) as mutually exclusive.

Nomura, Gail, et. al., eds. Frontiers of Asian American Studies. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1989.
Part Four raises theoretical questions, particularly with regard to the discipline of ethnic studies. The other three sections include state-of-the-art essays on a range of topics from history, literary studies, and the social sciences, treating both specific traditions and relations among Americans of various Asian ancestries. Includes excellent annotated bibliography divided by specific Asian American sub-groups.

Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Donnellym Margarita, eds. The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology. New York, NY: Calyx Books, 1991.

Wong, Diane Yen-Mei, and Emilya Cachapero. eds. Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings by and About Asian American Women. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1989.

Kim, Elaine, and Lilia Villaneuva, eds. Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1997.
These three anthologies above provide a good sense of the evolution of Asian American feminist thought from the 1980s to the present.

Hume, Shirley, et. al., eds. Asian Americans: Comparative and Global Perspectives. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1991.
Part One in particular raises key theoretical issues. Among the more theoretically interesting topical essays, see those by Marilyn Alquizola and David Leiwei Li.

Lowe, Lisa. Immgrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.
Brilliant use of postcolonial, marxist, critical race and feminist theory to analyze the complicated interrelations of Asian diasporic, Asian American and dominant communities in the US. Using the example of Asian immigration in its various waves, Lowe exposes the historical construction of dominant notions of US nationhood and citizenship in dialectical relation to those it would exclude or only partially include within those categories.

Cheung, King-Kok, ed. An Interethnic Companion to Asian American Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Outstanding collection of essays on the various literatures by Americans of Asian descent. Includes introductions to Chinese-, Japanese-, Korean-, Vietnamese-, Filipino-, and South Asian-American traditions, as well as essays on particular theoretical issues.

Krupat, Arnold. The Voice in the Margin. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1989.
A series of interlinked essays relating special theoretical issues in the study of native American Indian literatures and cultures (i.e., the prominence of the oral) to problems of canonization and representativeness.

Martin, Calvin ed. The American Indian and the Problem of History. Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Using Native American history as its focus, this collection of short essays covers a very wide range of historical theory and method, from the most positivistic to the almost deconstructive. It also provides one point of entry into the important field of ethnohistory.

Vizenor, Gerald, ed. Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Literatures. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.
Places contemporary literary and cultural theory (especially Bakhtin) in tension with Native modes of thought while interpreting works by contemporary Native American/American Indian writers.

Warrior, Robert Allen. Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.
Uses the work of John Joseph Matthews and Vine Deloria, Jr. to initiate brilliant rethinking of American Indian intellectual traditions that skillfully unites indigenous resources, sovereignty issues and contemporary cultural theory.

Harjo, Joy, and Gloria Bird, eds. Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native American Women's Writings of North America. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Excellent collection demonstrating a range of approaches to rethinking race and gender from the perspectives of indigenous women.

JanMohamed, Abdul, and David Lloyd, eds. The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse. Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1990.
A theoretically informed collection of articles from a two-volume special issue of Cultural Critique examining representational strategies in and strategic contexts for literatures of US domestic and international "Third World" writers. See especially pieces by Kaplan, Mani, Radhakrishnan, Rabasa and Rosaldo. Comparative US and other national racial formations remains underdeveloped.

Gates, Jr., Henry Louis, ed. "Race," Writing, and Difference. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1985; 1986.
This collection of essays from Critical Inquiry includes a number of important pieces on race in America as well as key contributions to post-colonial theory. See particularly the essays by Gates, Said, Johnson, Carby and Gilman.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1978.
A very influential study of the racial "othering" of the Middle East by "the West." And one of the founding texts of postcolonial theory.

---. The World, the Text, and the Critic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.
Extremely important and provocative collection of essays on the relation of literary theory to the wider social world. See especially "Introduction: Secular Criticism," "Reflections on American 'Left' Literary Criticism," and "Traveling Theory."

Trinh, Minh Ha. Woman, Native, Other. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1989.
A formally innovative text that is at once feminist post-colonial theory and an autobiography of this Vietnamese-American film-maker/scholar.

Spivak, Gayatri. In Other Worlds. London and New York, NY: Methuen, 1987.
Collects many of the key essays by one of the foremost "post-colonial" cultural critics who combines elements from deconstruction, feminist theory, and marxism.

---. "Can the Subaltern Speak?" Nelson and Grossberg. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1988.
Immensely influential piece critiquing and using post-structuralism in the context of a meditation on the voice of the subaltern subject.

Delgado, Richard, and Jean Stefancic, eds. Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1997.

Frankenberg, Ruth. Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism Durham, NC: Duke Univesity Press, 1997.
The racialization of "whiteness" (i.e., the recognition that whiteness has been the "unmarked," largely invisible category in racialized states) was theorizied with ever greater sophistication in the 1990s and early 21st century. These excellent collections by Delgado/Stefancic and Frankenberg bring together many of the most important works in this endeavor, and offer useful bibliographies for further study.

Sturgeon, Noël. Ecofeminist Natures: Gender, Race, Feminist Theory and Political Action. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997.
Best book yet written on the interrelations among gender, race and nature. Critical of essentialisms within environmental and feminist movements, Sturgeon offers an alternative "direct theory" of social movements that goes beyond the comcept of strategic essentialism to ground a radically democratic theoretical and political practice.Sandoval, Chela. Methodology of the Oppressed Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. This brilliantly wide-ranging text attempts to bring an end to the "apartheid in cultural studies" that has separated feminist, queer, racial, class, and postcolonial theories from each other.
See also, "Section X: Postcolonial and Transnational Theories."

 

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