The English Department would like to announce the thesis defense of Winnona Piazza for her MA in English that will take place today, March 30th. Her thesis, titled “The Indigenous Persona: Examining the Modern Native American,” is chaired by Dr. Caleb Corkery alongside committee members Dr. Katarzyna Jakubiak and Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel. The abstract for her thesis is included below.
Abstract: “Examination of the modern native looking beyond the stereotype or phenotype used to create the definition. Opening with a historical investigation on established Indian identity and how it was determined through governmental systems both on and off Indian reservations. The controversy with the ways of confirming native identity undermines the individual and negates their experiences. Through the voice of several Native American authors, their fictional characters are used to substantiate that the state of native identity is at a time of flux. The many characters that find themselves to not fully belong to their ethnicity or culture due to mixed blood is formidable. These native fictional characters are used to explore with aid of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderland theory to reveal that the new native was something that did not meet the romantic view of the indigenous but worked to help create an identity of their own that belonged within the community and culture. Developed with the voice of the new native, four pieces of creative non-fiction written from experiences growing up on a reservation within the Native American culture.”