Native Craftwork and the Art of American Literatures

By Caroline Wigginton

328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 74 color plates, 2 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7037-9
    Published: November 2022
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7036-2
    Published: November 2022
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7038-6
    Published: October 2022
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6209-9
    Published: October 2022

Critical Indigeneities

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit

Awards & distinctions

Shortlisted, 2023 SHARP Book History Book Prize, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing

For hundreds of years, American artisanship and American authorship were entangled practices rather than distinct disciplines. Books, like other objects, were multisensory items all North American communities and cultures, including Native and settler colonial ones, regularly made and used. All cultures and communities narrated and documented their histories and imaginations through a variety of media. All created objects for domestic, sacred, curative, and collective purposes.

In this innovative work at the intersection of Indigenous studies, literary studies, book history, and material culture studies, Caroline Wigginton tells a story of the interweavings of Native craftwork and American literatures from their ancient roots to the present. Focused primarily on North America, especially the colonized lands and waters now claimed by the United States, this book argues for the foundational but often-hidden aesthetic orientation of American literary history toward Native craftwork. Wigginton knits this narrative to another of Indigenous aesthetic repatriation through the making and using of books and works of material expression. Ultimately, she reveals that Native craftwork is by turns the warp and weft of American literature, interwoven throughout its long history.

About the Author

Caroline Wigginton is associate professor of English at the University of Mississippi.
For more information about Caroline Wigginton, visit the Author Page.


"This visually striking book forges many surprising and fruitful connections between Native craft practices and European-American material texts; it will rapidly become a go-to source for teachers and scholars alike."—Phillip H. Round, University of Iowa

"A groundbreaking and beautifully crafted book. Wigginton weaves a clear, intricate web of literary, historical, geographical, and artistic relationality. Impressive and elucidating."—Lisa Brooks, Amherst College