Reading Collaboratively Written Native American Autobiography

By Alicia Carroll


Approx. 224 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7875-7
    Published: October 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7874-0
    Published: October 2024

Paperback Available October 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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In the last few years, there have been myriad media reports regarding Federal Indian boarding schools and their grisly history of violence and cultural erasure against Native people in the United States. The US government recently acknowledged its role for the first time with the Department of the Interior’s publication of the "Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report." In this book, Alicia Carroll tells the history of one form of literary Native resistance to this violence, that of the collaboratively written autobiography. Focusing on work by Hopi boarding school residents, Carroll shows readers that collaborative autobiographical authorship is a practice of Indigenous intellectual sovereignty, using a method they dub indiscipline: a strategy of defying, refusing, or purposefully failing to follow mandates to conform to settler colonial sex and gender norms, including heteronormativity, the binary construct of sex and gender, and the idea of personhood itself.

Through collaboratively written autobiography, Carroll argues that Native authors not only resisted colonial attempts to use sex and gender to alienate them from their homelands and bodies, they created an important Indigenous literary genre that informs our understanding of Native life and art today.

About the Author

Alicia Carroll is assistant professor of English at University of California, Irvine.
For more information about Alicia Carroll, visit the Author Page.


"Carroll addresses the long history of collaborative Native-white life writing texts while deftly moving beyond them to center Hopi voices and knowledge production."—Stephanie Fitzgerald, Arizona State University