American Indian epistemology in Deborah A. Miranda’s 'Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir'
The essay proposes that Deborah A. Miranda’s Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (2013) is a work animated by the principles of American Indian epistemology. First, a model of Native philosophy is outlined after Native philosopher Thomas Norton-Smith. Secondly, four dimensions of Miranda’s work – its ethical and procedural purpose, generic location, metalinguistic strategy, narrative as a vehicle of knowledge – are analyzed in the light of Norton-Smith, Roland Barthes, California historians, American Indian literary studies, decolonial theory, and auto-ethnography. In conclusion, it is posited that Miranda’s story is an animated entity enacting ontological, intersubjective, historical difference, and that it intervenes into the genre of memoir/autobiography.
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