Sovereign Selves: American Indian Autobiography and the Law
This book is an exploration of how American Indian autobiographers' approaches to writing about their own lives have been impacted by American legal systems from the Revolutionary War until the 1920s. Historically, Native American autobiographers have written in the shadow of Indian law, a nuanced form of natural law discourse with its own set of related institutions and forms (the reservation, the treaty, etc.). In Sovereign Selves, David J. Carlson develops a rigorously historicized argument about the relationship between the specific colonial model of Indian identity that was developed and disseminated through U.S. legal institutions, and the acts of autobiographical self-definition by the colonized Indians expected to fit that model.
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