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“Of Avians and Indigenes”: Preliminary Notes on the Orientalization of the New World Native and Natured Others



“Of Avians and Indigenes” combines colonial discourse theory and ecocriticism to demonstrate how the New World bird and the New World “Indian” have been similarly othered in the discourse of Western imperialism. As a result, the Passenger Pigeon and many Native American tribes have suffered a similar fate: extinction. But via the ironic co-evolutionary history of the native House Finch and the introduced English Sparrow – and spanning American literature from John James Audubon to Joy Harjo – the author offers a Native reading of this colonization, through which both avians and indigenes “speak back” against the onslaught of Euro-American ideology, as a veritable “return of the Native.”