AuthorRonnow, Gretchen Lyn.
Committee ChairBabcock, Barbara A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe works of John Milton Oskison, Cherokee writer, originally published in popular magazines, have been out of print since the 1920s. Oskison's stories have often been dismissed as sentimental and lacking a Native American focus; a more diligent reading, however, shows subtle and complex Native American motifs and concerns. John Oskison was born in Indian Territory in 1874, attended Willie Halsell College, Stanford and Harvard Universities, and then began to write for major New York magazines. It was not necessarily popular nor politically advantageous at that time to be known as Indian, especially if one wished to influence public opinion as a journalist. Oskison's Native American point of view and sympathy are strongly coded in the text, embedded in narrative displacements and rhetorical silences. His are "writerly" texts; at the most superficial level readers may see only populist and assimilationist "messages," but the narrative complexities belie such easy readings. Oskison grappled with the issues of being a highly educated mixed-blood trying to defend a tribal heritage while speaking in the most public arenas. This dissertation is a critical examination of the way this struggle manifests itself in his literary production.