"I think about this dream often": Nostalgic visions of Native Americans during the Progressive Era, 1890--1930
Rowley, Kelley E.
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The dissertation provides a method for decolonizing the as-told-to autobiography Black Elk Speaks through three steps. First, I identify nostalgic imperialism as the colonizing influence during the progressive era and provide an interdisciplinary framework for which it can be used. I do so by providing a brief history of the United States' policies of physical and cultural genocide arguing that the success of these programs are what facilitated the nostalgic gaze toward Native Americans. Next, I expose America's identity crisis brought on by immigration. I make a cross disciplinary investigation of how nostalgia manifested itself in the Arts, the Social Sciences and the Humanities. With that background I expose John Neihardt's nostalgic bias. Last, I employ an Ethnopoetic method to avoid the nostalgic landmines in Black Elk Speaks . This involves using George Sword as an interpretive tool to place Black Elk's great vision and White Buffalo Woman stories in the discourse of oral performances.