ERIC Number: EJ1098590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Spirits in the Material World: Ecocentrism in Native American Culture and Louise Erdrich's "Chickadee"
Children's Literature in Education, v47 n2 p148-160 Jun 2016
In the face of the worldwide ecological crisis, ecocriticism, "the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment" as "an earth-centered approach to literary studies" has become an important part of contemporary literary theory (Glotfelty in "The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology," 1996, p. xviii). Since many traditional Native American lifestyles were based on ecological or ecocentric thinking--the need to live in harmony with the natural world--scholars have turned to the Native American literature that shares this ecocentric focus, which includes writing by Chickasaw poet Linda Hogan, Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz, and Laguna Pueblo novelist Paula Gunn Allen, among others. Native American children's literature has been less examined. Even the acclaimed poet and novelist Louise Erdrich, one of the best-known authors of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance, has received less academic attention for her children's books. This article aims to explore ecocentrism in Erdrich's award-winning children's book "Chickadee" (2012), the fourth book in her Birchbark House series, consulting discourses on ecocentrism and anthropocentrism, the importance of children's literature in education, as well as the significance of animals and shamanism in "Chickadee," placing the book within the context of traditional Native American culture.
Descriptors: American Indians, American Indian Culture, American Indian Studies, Childrens Literature, Didacticism, Ecological Factors, Ecology, Literature Appreciation, Literary Genres, Literary Criticism, Book Reviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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