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Book Anatomy: The Body Politics of Indigenous Book History

November 28, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

Sponsored by The Grolier Club

Dr. Amy Gore, assistant professor of English at North Dakota State University, will discuss the connections between books, bodies, and Indigenous book history at the release of her latest monograph, Book Anatomy: Body Politics and the Materiality of Indigenous Book History (University of Massachusetts Press, 2023). From a book’s “spine” to its “appendix,” bibliographers use a language of the body that reveals our intimate connection with books. Yet books do more than describe bodies—they embody a frontline of colonization in which Indigenous authors battle the public perception and reception of Indigenous peoples. Starting with John Rollin Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta (1854) as the first novel published by a Native author and moving to other first entries of Indigenous literary production, Amy Gore calls attention to the negotiations between books and bodies embedded within Indigenous literary history. Bringing Indigenous book history more firmly into conversations with mainstream narratives about the history of the book, her research claims books themselves as a source of embodied power for early Native American authors.

Moderated by Erin McGuirl, Executive Director, Bibliographical Society of America


November 28, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST
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