Berner, Robert L.

Robert Berner received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He is Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Defining American Indian Literature: One Nation Divisible
1999 0-7734-8039-0
The study of contemporary American Indian writers is complicated by problems in definitions which critics, scholars, teachers and editors so far have not addressed adequately. The subject of this study is not the traditional mythology, folklore, and song of particular tribes, but the literary uses of this material, particularly in the latter half of this century and particularly by Indian writers. The questions are basic: 1) What is an Indian writer? 2) What are the legitimate literary uses of Indians and their culture? 3) Can an American Indian literary tradition be defined? And 4) What is the relation of writing by Indians to American literature as a whole? Beside several non-Indian writers (Edwin Corle, Frank Hamilton Cushing, Charles L. McNichols, Jerome Rothenberg) the book deals with several representative Indian writers (Lance Henson, Maurice Kenny, Thomas King, Adrian C. Louis, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gerald Vizenor, James Welch) and also cites Paula Gunn Allen, Jim Barnes, Peter Blue Cloud, Diane Glancy, Joy Harjo, Geary Hobson, Linda Hogan, Duane Niatum, Simon Ortiz, Carter Revard, and Wendy Rose.