Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

James H. Cox

ProfessorPh.D., University of Nebraska at Lincoln

James H. Cox



Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Native American Literature; Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Ethnic American Literatures, including Chicana/o Literature and Literature of Immigration


MAS F374 • Am Indian-Mex Amer Lit & Film

82965 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am PAR 210




This class will focus on a selection of influential and award-winning late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century American Indian (Native American) and Mexican American writers and filmmakers. We will discuss issues such as form and style, identity, storytelling, tradition, community, citizenship, and the representation of Native Americans and Mexican Americans in popular culture. One primary goal will be to foreground and draw explicit links between Native American and Mexican American historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts and to attempt to understand the readings and films from within those contexts. An equally important goal of the course will be to strengthen both your historical and cultural knowledge and your critical reading and viewing skills.



Alexie, Sherman (Spokane and Coeur d’Alene). The Toughest Indian in the World. (Grove, 2000)

Arias, Ron. The Road to Tamazunchale. (West Coast Poetry Review, 1975; Bilingual Press, 1987)

Bratt, Peter. La Mission. 2009.

Casares, Oscar. Amigoland. (Little Brown 2009; Back Bay Books, 2010)

Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek. (Vintage, 1991)

Harjo, Sterlin. Four Sheets to the Wind. 2007.

King, Thomas (Cherokee). The Truth About Stories. (House of Anansi, 2003; Minnesota, 2008)

Silko, Leslie Marmon (Laguna Pueblo). Ceremony. (Penguin, 1977)



Two exams, 40% each

Participation, 20%




The Red Land to the South: American Indian Writers and Indigenous Mexico. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

Muting White Noise: Native American and European American Novel Traditions. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006. [Second printing, 2009]

Books Edited

“Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature” New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.


“The Cross and the Harvest Dance: Lynn Riggs’ and James Hughes’ A Day in Santa Fe.” Forthcoming in Quarterly Review of Film and Video.

“‘Learn to Talk Yaqui’: Mexico and the Cherokee Literary Politics of Will Rogers and John Milton Oskison.” Western American Literature 48.4 (Winter 2014): 401-21.

"Mexican Indigenismo, Choctaw Self-Determination, and Todd Downing's Detective Novels." American Quarterly 62.3 (September 2010): 639-61.

"Indigenous Nationhood and Intertribal Kinship in Todd Downing's The Mexican Earth." MELUS 33.1 (Spring 2008): 75-92.

"The Power of Sympathy: European American Women Novelists Imagine Indigenous Absence." ATQ: 19th Century American Literature and Culture 15.3 (2001): 191-207.

"'All This Water Imagery Must Mean Something': Thomas King's Revisions of Narratives of Domination and Conquest in Green Grass, Running Water." American Indian Quarterly 24.2 (2000): 219-46.

"Muting White Noise: The Subversion of Popular Culture Narratives of Conquest in Sherman Alexie's Fiction." Studies in American Indian Literatures 9.4 (1997): 52-70.

Book Chapters

"Thomas King, Indian Policy, and American Indian Activism.” Thomas King: Works and Impacts. Ed. Eva Gruber. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2012. 224-37.

"Tribal Nations and the Other Territories of American Indian Literary History." A Companion to American Literary Studies. Ed. Caroline F. Levander and Robert S. Levine. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 356-72.

"This Is What It Means to Say Reservation Cinema: Making Cinematic Indians in Smoke Signals." Sherman Alexie: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Jan Roush and Jeff Berglund. Logan: University of Utah Press, 2010. 74-94.

"'Yours for the Indian Cause': Gertrude Bonnin's Activist Editing at The American Indian Magazine, 1915-1919." Blue Pencils and Hidden Hands: Women Editing Periodicals, 1830-1910. Ed. Sharon M. Harris. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004. 173-201.


“Mexican Indigenismo, Choctaw Self-Determination, and Todd Downing’s Detective Novels.” Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism, and American Studies. Ed. Paul Lai and Lindsey Claire Smith. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 2011. 233-55.

“Muting White Noise: The Subversion of Popular Culture Narratives of Conquest in Sherman Alexie’s Fiction.” Native American Writing. Vol. 3. Ed. A. Robert Lee. London: Routledge, 2011. 3-19.

“Muting White Noise: The Subversion of Popular Culture Narratives of Conquest in Sherman Alexie’s Fiction.” Approaching Literature: Writing, Reading, Thinking. Second Edition. Ed. Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 283-8. [Third edition, 2012]

“Muting White Noise: The Subversion of Popular Culture Narratives of Conquest in Sherman Alexie’s Fiction.” Short Story Criticism, Vol. 107. Ed. Jelena Krstovic. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale/Cengage, 2008. 10-20.

Review Essays

“The Native Critics Collective on the Past, Present, and Possible Futures of American Indian Literary Studies.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 20.2 (2008): 102-12.


Susan Kalter, ed., Twenty Thousand Mornings: An Autobiography, by John Joseph Mathews. Western American Literature 47.4 (Winter 2013): 439-40.

Phillip H. Round, Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663-1880. Textual Cultures 7.2 (2012): 125-7.

Robert Dale Parker, ed., The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft. Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 25.1 (2008): 168-69.

Kenneth Lincoln, Native American Renaissance. E3W Review of Books (2008): 85-86.

Frances Washburn, Elsie’s Business. E3W Review of Books (2006): 66-67.

Franchot Ballinger, Living Sideways: Tricksters in American Indian Oral Traditions. MELUS 30.2 (2005): 252-55.

Elvira Pulitano, Toward a Native American Critical Theory. American Indian Quarterly 29.1&2 (2005): 316-21.

Ruth Spack, America’s Second Tongue: American Indian Education and the Ownership of English, 1860-1900. Studies in American Indian Literatures. 16.1 (2004): 81-84.

Arnold Krupat, Red Matters: Native American Studies. Great Plains Quarterly 23.4 (2003): 271-72.

R. David Edmunds, ed., The New Warriors: Native American Leaders Since 1900. Studies in American Indian Literatures 15.2 (2003): 76-79.

Gilberto Chavez Ballejos and Shirley Hill Witt, El Indio Jesus: A Novel. Studies in American Indian Literatures 14.4 (2002): 51-54.

Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez, Contemporary American Indian Literatures & the Oral Tradition. Great Plains Quarterly 20.3 (2000): 239-40.

Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird, eds., Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America. Prairie Schooner 73.1 (1999): 184-88.

James J. Rawls, Chief Red Fox is Dead: A History of Native Americans Since 1945. Great Plains Quarterly 18.1 (1998): 56-57.

Curriculum Vitae

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