Stories of Our Living Ephemera recovers the history of the Cherokee National Seminaries from scattered archives and colonized research practices by critically weaving together pedagogy and archival artifacts with Cherokee traditional stories and Indigenous worldviews. This unique text adds these voices to writing studies history and presents these stories as models of active rhetorical practices of assimilation resistance in colonized spaces.
Emily Legg turns to the Cherokee medicine wheel and cardinal directions as a Cherokee rhetorical discipline of knowledge making in the archives, an embodied and material practice that steers knowledge through the four cardinal directions around all relations. Going beyond historiography, Legg delineates educational practices that are intertwined with multiple strands of traditional Cherokee stories that privilege Indigenous and matriarchal theoretical lenses. Stories of Our Living Ephemera synthesizes the connections between contemporary and nineteenth-century academic experiences to articulate the ways that colonial institutions and research can be Indigenized by centering Native American sovereignty.
By undoing the erasure of Cherokee literacy and educational practices, Stories of Our Living Ephemera celebrates the importance of storytelling, especially to those who are learning about Indigenous histories and rhetorics. This book is of cultural importance and value to academics interested in composition and pedagogy, the Cherokee Nation, and a general audience seeking to learn about Indigenous rhetorical devices and Cherokee history.