[UPDATE] The Spatial Significance of Native American Stories and Ideology

full name / name of organization: 
Catherine Rainwater, Cristine Soliz, Anna Lee Walters

We are accepting submissions for a collection of stories, essays, and poems for a proposed book on comparative American spatial concepts, partially titled "Stories the Land Holds." The editors are looking for texts variously addressing "stories in the land." What are the stories the land tells? Vine Deloria has warned us of problems that result from a perspective that is not fundamentally spatial, and such has been the case for current problems that range from ecological disaster to fanatical environmentalism and bundled mortgages. We believe that these complex and problematic American events can be understood more fully from a Native American perspective. However, cultural amnesia after 1776 has obscured how fundamental Native American ideology is to who we are as Americans, and how vital this philosophy can be for redirecting the disastrous turn of events in American history by recovering and listening to the stories.

Are there truly American "stories" that have been lost or forgotten in colonial efforts to redefine the continent as a "New" or empty world and reshape these lands of Turtle Island with stories and perspectives from other places? Take, for example, the Diné who at one time performed 500 ceremonies but today only a handful of ceremonies remain. Beneath the current political and ideological structures that cover the surface of America, there is the land itself, and in the land the stories embedded there by Native voices that speak to us about who we are in relation to the natural surroundings that hold us. The natural sciences developed by Native Americans over the millennia across America included their reciprocal relationship with natural environments. This is a spatial and local view where both land and individual are visible.

A working structure of our book includes stories of the creation and stories of the encounter, from Emperor Charles' and Spanish demands in the 1500s for vast acquisitions of land and rent from the Indians to a Susquahannough's trading of stories in the 1600s with a Swedish Minister from "New Sweden" in Pennsylvania, and lastly to a view of the land as exorbitantly priced real estate with family homes no longer being local possessions but parts of the vast acquisitions of bundled mortgages by unknown international groups.

Please query by email first, or send abstracts, or completed manuscripts of up to 6,000 words to any of the editors: Anna Lee Walters at Anna_Lee@frontiernet.net -- Catherine Rainwater at cathernr@stedwards.edu -- Cristine Soliz at csoliz@csoliz.com

Abstracts or manuscripts should be accompanied by a short biographical paragraph. Several presses have expressed interest, however no contracts can be made until the texts are selected. We will begin reviewing immediately and plan to complete our selections by July 31.