Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2012


Great Plains Quarterly 32:4 (Fall 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


Nobody cares about American Indian studies more than Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, and her latest book makes that clear. She calls for stronger departments and a dedicated methodology, and bemoans mere interdisciplinary programs, which force scholars to produce research that caters to traditional Western disciplines and promotes what she considers unsuitable intellectual frameworks. In particular, she decries postcolonial theory, favoring decolonization theory instead and the use of Indigeneity as a category of analysis. From that starting point, the author covers a range of important topics. A high point is the chapter discussing non-Indians who fraudulently assume Indian identity. Her overarching critique of American colonialism is also welcome, though far more common in academia than she seems to think. And that points to a larger problem.