Assistant Professor of American Literary Studies ,Sarah Hernandez (Sicangu Lakota), has published her first book titled, We Are the Stars: Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition. Hernandez’s book is published by the University of Arizona Press in the U.S., and the University of Regina Press in Canada.
We Are the Stars recovers the literary record of Oceti Sakowin (historically known to some as the Sioux Nation) women, who served as their tribes’ traditional culture keepers and culture bearers. In so doing, the book furthers discussions about settler colonialism, literature, nationalism, and gender.
Women and land form the core themes of the book, which brings tribal and settler colonial narratives into comparative analysis. Divided into two parts, the first section of the work explores how settler colonizers used the printing press and boarding schools to displace Oceti Sakowin women as traditional culture keepers and culture bearers with the goal of internally and externally colonizing the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota nations. The second section focuses on decolonization and explores how contemporary Oceti Sakowin writers and scholars have started to reclaim Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota literatures to decolonize and heal their families, communities, and nations.
UNM’s Institute for American Indian Research will host a book launch for Hernandez on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM in the Frank Water’s Room, Zimmerman Library with a reception to follow.