Studies in American Indian Literatures Special Issue: Oak Lake Writers’ Society 30th Anniversary Call for Papers

Abstracts for consideration deadline: May 15, 2023 
Full article draft deadline: July 1, 2023
Final revised article deadline: September 15, 2023

SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literature announces a call for submissions for a special issue to honor and celebrate the Oceti Sakowin literary tradition.  Over the past 100+ years, Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota writers have published more than two hundred books, representing a variety of genres and topics. In 1902, Charles Eastman (Santee Dakota) published Indian Boyhood, the first full-length book to focus on Dakota culture and history. He published ten more books that subsequently paved the way for numerous other Oceti Sakowin writers and scholars to publish books and articles related to D/N/Lakota languages, culture, spirituality, history, politics, etc. This special issue seeks to center these writers and celebrate their contributions to the Oceti Sakowin intellectual tradition.

This special issue of SAIL not only celebrates the Oceti Sakowin literary tradition, but also  corresponds with and celebrates the Oak Lake Writers’ Society’s 30th anniversary.  

Established in 1993, the Oak Lake Writers’ Society is a first-of-its-kind tribal writing group dedicated to preserving and defending Oceti Sakowin cultures, oral traditions, and histories; to reaffirm our peoples’ political statuses; and to regulate and transform representations of such that are inaccurate and damaging. This special issue honors those charter members – including Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Elden Lawrence, Lanniko Lee, Florestine Kiyukanpi Renville, and Lydia Whirlwind Soldier – and that of subsequent members for their commitment to protecting the Oceti Sakowin intellectual tradition.

As a reflection of the rich and complex Oceti Sakowin intellectual tradition, we seek submissions from all genres, disciplines, and media.  The only requirement is that submission focus on topics/issues that are important and relevant to Oceti Sakowin people and communities. We seek critical essays (7,000 to 10,000 words); book reviews (500-1,000 words); and creative work including poetry, short stories, and memoir (500-1,000) words.  We also welcome art/drawing/painting submissions. 

Note: we defer to individual authors’ orthographic and spelling choices in representing D/N/Lakota in their submissions, since as Sarah Hernandez notes in We Are the Stars: Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition, Oceti Sakowin writers “have long debated and experimented with these stylistic conventions,” with many such choices stemming from longstanding involvement in community debates and practices that resist any universal standardization. 

For consideration please submit a 250-word abstract or brief work sample to guest editors Chris Pexa (University of Minnesota), Sarah Hernandez (University of New Mexico), and Julianne Newmark (University of New Mexico) at: