Burdette (California State Chico) asks what we can learn from the intersection between poetics and politics in contemporary indigenous movements, and what such a dialogue might suggest about the possibilities for social change. She accomplishes this through analysis of Native literature from Abiayala, an alternative name for the Americas in the Guna language of Panama that means “continent of plenitude and maturity.” She uses this term (sometimes spelled Abya Yala) as a gesture to a hemispheric rather than exclusively Latin American analysis of Native perspectives, even as she readily acknowledges that a comprehensive and encyclopedic evaluation of the topic is not possible in a work such as this. Burdette posits that the task for postcolonial studies is to identify not only structures of coloniality but also areas where colonization is incomplete. Burdette situates herself as a nonnative scholar who is committed to using literary criticism as a viable space for decolonial and intercultural transformation. She acknowledges the challenge to recuperate subjugated knowledge without objectifying and decontextualizing it for our own purposes.
Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.