Ellen Cushman is Dean’s Professor of Civic Sustainability and professor of English at Northeastern University and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Her work explores how people use literacy and language to endure and create change.
Decolonial projects can end up reinforcing dominant modes of thinking by shoehorning understandings of Indigenous and non-Western traditions within Eurocentric frameworks. The pluralization of literacies and the creation of so-called alternative rhetorics accepts that there is a totalizing reality of rhetoric and literacy. This volume seeks to decenter these theories and to engage Indigenous contexts on their own terms, starting with the very tools of representation. Language itself can disrupt normative structures and create pluriversal possibilities. The volume editors and contributors argue for epistemic change at the level of the language and media that people use to represent meaning. The range of topics covered includes American Indian and Indigenous representations, literacies, and rhetorics; critical revisionist historiography and comparative rhetorics; delinking colonial literacies of cartographic power and modernity; “northern” and “southern” hemispheric relations; and theorizations of/from oceanic border spaces.