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“Survivance: Theory and Practice in Native American Narratives” – a talk by Gerald Vizenor, 4/9/07

Theories of survivance are elusive, obscure, and imprecise by definition, translation, and catchword history, but survivance is invariably true and just in native practice. The nature of survivance, an active sense of presence over absence, deracination, and oblivion, is unmistakable in native stories, natural reason, active traditions, customs, narrative resistance, and clearly observable in personal attributes, such as humor, spirit, cast of mind, and moral courage. The character of survivance creates in narratives a sense of native presence over absence, nihility, and victimry. Gerald Vizenor, Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, will be in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study April 9-13 and participating in a short course.

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