Re-Mapping the Trauma Paradigm: The Politics of Native American Grief in Louise Erdrich’s “Shamengwa”

  • Silvia Martínez-FalquinaEmail author


Martínez-Falquina offers a much-needed re-mapping of the trauma paradigm in relation to Native American literary studies. Starting from an analysis of Louise Erdrich’s 2002 short story “Shamengwa,” the chapter theorizes Native American grief—with a focus on American Indian Historical Trauma—attending to its fundamental political implications. The relevance of its conclusions—the need to understand suffering and healing as both individual and communal processes; the vindication of an idiosyncratic understanding of place and time; the affirmation of post-traumatic growth in spite of loss; and the combination of differential culture-specific elements with an attention to hybridity—contribute to the dismantling of monolithic views of Native American cultures and to the revision of Western forms of knowledge.


Louise Erdrich  Native American literature Postcolonial trauma theory American Indian historical trauma The politics of grief 



The research carried out for the writing of this chapter is part of a project financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the European Regional Development Fund, code FFI2015-65775-P (MINECO / FEDER, UE). The author is also thankful for the support of the Government of Aragón (code H05) and of the university of Zaragoza (code JIuZ-2014-HuM-02).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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