Category Archives: Collection Spotlight

Collection Spotlight: Native Americans: A Present-Tense People

We acknowledge that this space and greater university gathers on land that has long served as the site of meeting and exchange amongst a number of Indigenous peoples, historically the Shakori (sha-core-ee) and Catawba (kuh-taa-buh) people. 

It is also important to recognize the 8 tribes that currently reside in North Carolina, these include the Coharie (co-HAIR-ee), Lumbee, Meherrin (ma-HAIR-in), Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Haliwa Saponi (HA-lih-WAH suh-PONY), Waccamaw Siouan (WOK-uh-ma Soo-uhn), Sappony, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee. We honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this territory on which we gather.

In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, Duke University Libraries is co-sponsoring with the Native American Student Alliance (NASA) a Collection Spotlight this month called “Native Americans: A Present-Tense People.”

We took part of the inspiration for this spotlight from this year’s Summer Reading book There There by Tommy Orange“We’ve been fighting for decades to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and relevant, alive.”  The fiction included in the spotlight are all by modern Native American authors, and the non-fiction books focus on modern history and culture.   Examples of some of the titles included are:

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo

Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation by Malinda Maynor Lowery

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot

Native Voices: indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations edited by CMarie Fuhrman and Dean Rader

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

Indians on the Move: Native American Mobility and Urbanization in the Twentieth Century by Douglas K. Miller

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah A. Miranda

Unsettling America: The Uses of Indianness in the 21st century by C. Richard King

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

“All the real Indians died off”: And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Please check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins!

You might also be interested in the current Nasher exhibit Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950’s to Now running until January 12th, 2020.  It is the first exhibition to chart the development of contemporary Indigenous art in the United States and Canada.  Check out the podcast “Native Voices: Darien Herndon” to learn more.  Darien Herndon is the current president of NASA.  There’s also a wonderful companion book by the curators Mindy N. Besaw, Candice Hopkins, and Manuela Well-Off-Man.

Finally please consider attending some of the upcoming events sponsored by NASA to celebrate Native American Heritage Month!

Collection Spotlight: Migration in a Divided World

In conjunction with the 2019 Provost Forum: Immigration in a Divided World, our current collection spotlight focuses on the complex issue of immigration, including books by many of the participants.  The titles are a mix of points of view and include public policy texts, political books, histories, memoirs, and novels.  Here are some highlights from the display:

The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America by Eric Kaufmann

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas

The Death of Politics: How to Heal our Frayed Republic after Trump by Peter Wehner

Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

The Virtue of Nationalism by Yoram Hazony

Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat

Debating Immigration edited by Carol M. Swain

Challenging the Borders of Justice in the Age of Migrations by Juan Carlos Velasco and MariaCaterina La Barbara

The Body Papers: A Memoir by Grace Talusan

Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick

Understanding Immigration: Issues and Challenges in an Era of Mass Population Movement by Marilyn Hoskin

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Please check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins in preparation for the Forum taking place between October 16th-17th, 2019.

Lilly Collection Spotlight – Native Voices: the Duke Common Experience and Beyond

Native Americans in the Arts

by Ira King

Book There,There
There There – The Duke Common Experience

Need some new reading material or are you just interested in seeing what’s in the Lilly Library’s collections that you might not know about? Check out Lilly’s Collection Spotlight!

To accompany the Duke Common Experience Reading Program selection of Tommy Orange’s There There, our spotlight highlights books and films that center Native American voices and perspectives. Orange, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, writes in his debut novel about a dozen Native Americans travelling to a powwow in Oakland, California. There There focuses on urban Native Americans, exploring the beauty and despair these characters experience as they navigate life in the United States.

Our collections include books on Native American art, novels by Native Americans, memoirs of native experiences, films and documentaries, and historical accounts. Here are a few highlights from our collection:

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

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Hearts of Our People: Exhibit at the Minneapolis Museum of Art

This exhibition catalog from the Minneapolis Institute of Art highlights a broad spectrum of art created by Native American women. Work explored ranges from textiles to painting to photography and video, and covers antiquity to contemporary work. If you’re interested in checking out some Native art in person, the Nasher Museum’s exhibit, Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, opens on August 29th.

Book Cover
Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich Louise Erdrich, an acclaimed writer and member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, experiments with a dystopian setting in this novel. The novel follows Cedar Hawk Songmaker, four months pregnant, as she ventures out of Minneapolis and seeks out her Ojibwe birth mother against the backdrop of a security state cracking down on pregnant women. Check out Erdrich’s bookstore if you are ever in the Twin Cities.

Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong by Paul Chaat Smith Smith, an associate curator at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, challenges mainstream assumptions about native peoples and cultures in this essay collection. This book blends memoir and cultural commentary to paint a more nuanced picture of native life.

Smoke Signals Based on a Sherman Alexie short story, this film follows two young Native Americans, Victor and Thomas, on a road trip to pick up Victor’s father’s remains. Smoke Signals is notable for having a Native American writer and director, as well as an almost entirely native cast and crew.