Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Early Twentieth-Century Cherokee Writing


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines a body of Cherokee literature that challenges readings of the period between Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in 1975 as an intellectual and political “dark age” in Cherokee history. Situating writing by John Milton Oskison, Rachel Caroline Eaton, Rollie Lynn Riggs, and Ruth Muskrat Bronson within the Cherokee national contexts of its emergence, it explores the complex ways these writers remembered and (re)imagined Cherokee nationhood despite the absence of a functioning Cherokee state. In doing so, “Stoking the Fire” recovers this period as a rich archive of Cherokee intellectual and political thought relevant to contemporary issues facing the Cherokee Nation and Native studies today.