Reviews


European Journal of American Studies (2012), reviewing both Changing Is Not Vanishing and The Sound the Stars Make: “With the two books under review here . . . Parker has achieved a quite extraordinary intervention into our understanding of Native writing before 1969. He has significantly expanded and deepened the selection of texts available while, at the same time, providing a deeply researched, intellectually rigorous and yet engagingly passionate guide to the material on display and to the complexities of reading it contextually. Readers already familiar with the ‘long history’ of Native American literature will find an abundance of new voices and new discussions, while scholars in American literatures more widely will likely have their understanding of the arrival of Native American writing entirely transformed.”

Studies in American Indian Literature (21.3 Fall 2009) [accessible online through libraries that have access to Project Muse]: “In this edited volume of the writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Robert Dale Parker provides us with an invaluable gift . . . [,] a collection of writings that have been heretofore unknown to most of us. . . . Rather than looking at how Western civilization influences Indians, Schoolcraft’s writings show how Indians influence Euroamericans.”jjs-photo

American Indian Culture and Research Journal (31.3 2007) [pdf accessible online through libraries that have access to MetaPress]: “expertly researched and carefully crafted,” “an important contribution.”

•American Literary Scholarship 2006 (Duke University Press, 2008) [pdf accessible online through some libraries]: “an important new collection” with “a gripping introduction”; “should soon be a classic, and these writings will be required reading in many American literature courses.”

Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers (25.1 2008) [accessible online through libraries that have access to Project Muse]: “Parker moves Schoolcraft’s writing from the margins of American Indian literary studies to a much more prominent position. . . . Parker’s editing and readings of the texts demonstrate an abiding intellectual respect for the writing and the world in which Schoolcraft produced them.”

The Michigan Historical Review (33.2 Fall 2007) [accessible in part online, and in full through libraries that have access to the History Cooperative]: “For nearly two centuries the reputation of Native American poet Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (1800-1842) has been overshadowed by that of her husband. . . . With the publication of Robert Dale Parker’s excellent work . . . that will no longer be the case. . . . Parker faced a daunting challenge in preparing a documentary edition of Jane Schoolcraft’s work—something he has accomplished masterfully. Thanks to his scholarship, readers can now appreciate the scope of her work and the sensitivity and intelligence that gave rise to it. . . . Because of the painstaking labor of this dedicated scholar, the shadow that looms over Jane Johnston Schoolcraft’s work is now smaller and less opaque.”

•Nineteenth-Century Prose (35.2 Fall 2008): “Parker’s accomplishment in The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky, however, eclipses all other such efforts [to uncover Schoolcraft’s work] by a wide margin. . . . [Schoolcraft’s writing] offers a rare literary window into these times, from a vantage point that straddled Ojibwe, British, and American interests.
Parker shows that Native American writers have been doing literary work for much longer than is often assumed by contemporary scholars. Parker’s argument that we should discover work by Schoolcraft and other early Native American writers is made persuasive by the book’s clarity and richness, and by the example of Schosoundolcraft’s deeply original writing. The rigor displayed throughout The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky will serve as a guide for future scholars and readers interested in Schoolcraft and in other projects of textual recovery.”

The Michigan Quarterly Review (Winter 2008). “By focusing on a single person, place, and time, this volume actively combats the mute, romanticized stereotypes of exotic colonial subjects receding into history. . . . Jane Schoolcraft was . . . a writer whose work is as complicated as the times in which she lived. Parker’s recent volume should be read by anyone interested in early American literature, Native American literature, Anishinaabe literature, women’s literature, the history of the Great Lakes area, or the complicated art of textual criticism. He has done much more than simply gather the texts of a less well-known writer; he has carefully undone the colonial racism that for so long has obscured Jane Schoolcraft from our view.”

Nineteenth Century Prose (Fall 2008): “Parker’s argument that we should discover and study work by Schoolcraft and other early Native American writers is made persuasive by the book’s clarity and richness, and by the example of Schoolcraft’s deeply original writing. The rigor displayed throughout The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky will serve as a guide for future scholars and readers interested in Schoolcraft and in other projects of textual recovery.”

The Women’s Review of Books (2008): “Although in society’s eyes, he was the dominant one in their relationship, Parker invites readers to see Jane as Henry’s intellectual equal. . . . Thank heavens Robert Parker has finally come along with this new, unbowdlerized volume of Jane Schoolcraft’s work.”