ABSTRACT

The term “counter-captivity narrative” has been used by noted captivity scholar Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola to describe a text that “thwarts, appropriates, and modifies elements of the conventionally Western genre” of the Indian captivity narrative (161). The counter-captivity narrative genre is exemplified by texts produced by Native American authors who use the conventions of the Indian captivity narrative in the service of challenging cultural stereotypes of Native Americans. Her major examples are primarily by contemporary writers, including Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and Gerald Vizenor, but I argue in this chapter that Life of Black Hawk is an example of an early counter-captivity narrative. I examine the scholarship, textual history, and language of the narrative to argue that the text has at least as many commonalities with the tradition and genre of the captivity narrative as it does with the autobiography.