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please note:

this is a mixture of my lazy academic reviews and personal moments as a mama going through academia, and it is all my own opinion, and has absolutely no affiliation with anybody else

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Our Fire Survives the Storm – Daniel Heath Justice

Online review: “Justice views literary analysis as a site of community regeneration and takes seriously his responsibility to the Cherokee community he studies and from which he comes. He recognizes that academic research grounded in a tribally-specific worldview will not only benefit greatly from the richly textured specificity, but will also contribute to the “continuance and growth of Native communities.”


Again, one book to keep on the bookshelf for when I start the writing of my thesis. I especially enjoyed the initial discussion on the two types of Indian images – the Savage Warrior and the Cherokee Princess. This idealism still affects anyone who claims Indigenous blood, and to see it investigated in relationship to the stories is great, especially the smashing of the stereotypes.


  • “He is the epitome of savage sensuality, the personification in hot flesh and stoic charisma of the untamed frontier” (3)
  • “She’s the Cherokee Princess, everybody’s great-great-great-grandmother: noble and beautiful, with high cheekbones and brown eyes as deep as still mountain pools” (3)
  • “How does a historically rooted and culturally informed reading of the Cherokee literary tradition help us to better understand Cherokee social history, and vice versa?” (7)
  • “The idea of Removal for Cherokees is more than a symbol of erasure, the exile of a community from homeland and hearth. It’s the physical, brutal, bloody attempted elimination of a people” (60)
  • “Stories are what we do, as much as we are. Stories expand or narrow our imaginative possibilities – physical freedom won’t matter if we can’t imagine ourselves free as well” (206)
  • “A scholar is one to whom knowledge and wisdom traditions are of substantive and purposeful concern; an academic is a professional who participates in the institutional structure of resources and privilege of the Eurowestern academy” (207)
  • “Our literature is both a product and an extension of our nationhood; to assert oneself as a Cherokee is to locate oneself in relationship to all these complex and multidimensional discourses – stories – of community” (209)
  • “There’s a traceable and hopeful genealogy of Indigenous critical thought that moves from the self to the complications of community to what I see as the central concern of Native literary nationalism: community-interrelationship” (211)
  • “insist on the ethical repositioning of Indian voices from the margins of that discourse firmly to the center” (212)


buy the book: Our Fire Survives the Storm 

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