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Gerald Vizenor    

Writer, Scholar & Distinguished Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico

Gerald Vizenor, an influential Native American writer and scholar, has made significant contributions to the field of Indigenous literature and critical theory. Born on October 22, 1934, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Vizenor is a member of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe. Throughout his career, he has explored themes of identity, cultural survival, and the representation of Native American experiences in literature.

Vizenor's groundbreaking novel, "Griever: An American Monkey King in China," published in 1987, exemplifies his unique storytelling style that blends elements of Native American oral traditions with postmodern techniques. His works often challenge conventional narratives and subvert stereotypes, offering a nuanced and complex portrayal of Indigenous peoples. Vizenor's prolific literary output includes numerous novels, such as "Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles" and "The Heirs of Columbus," as well as collections of poetry, essays, and short stories. Four historical novels, "Blue Ravens," "Satie on the Seine: Letters to the Heirs of the Fur Trade," "Native Tributes," "Waiting for Wovoka, and Native Provenance: The Betrayal of Cultural Creativity," a collection of essays, are his most recent publications.

Recognized for his significant contributions to literature and academia, Vizenor has received several prestigious awards and honors, including the American Book Award for "Griever: An American Monkey King in China," the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Mark Twain Award from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010 and has been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. As an esteemed scholar, Vizenor has taught at various universities and institutions, sharing his insights on Native American literature, cultural criticism, and indigenous rights. His thought-provoking works continue to inspire and shape the field of Indigenous studies, leaving a lasting impact on literature and academia.

Speech Topics

Native American Literature and Cultural Survivance

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