In A Native American Voice with Paula Gunn Allen

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An award-winning American Indian scholar and poet dedicated to gathering and disseminating authentic Native American literature speaks out on a great variety of topics that reveal many facets of her own background and worldview. We hear of the Laguna Pueblo land in New Mexico where she was raised, and the special quality of places where habitation by humans “and supernaturals” has been stable and continuous for centuries. She shares some of her favorite aspects of contemporary Native American literature, and her hope for a renewal of American culture of all kinds. “It is the end of the world, from some people’s point of view,” says Allen, “but it’s the renewal of something more ancient and more true.” (hosted by Michael Toms)


Paula Gunn Allen (1939-2008) was a professor of English at UCLA.

Her books include:

To learn more about the work of Paula Gunn Allen go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • The diverse effects of human presence on the land
  • The important difference between cities and villages
  • The approaching “springtime” in American culture
  • Connections between Asian and Native American cultures
  • The strength of human presence in oral storytelling
  • Scott Momaday and the perspective shift in Native American storytelling
  • The Navajo story of the phantom hitchhiker
  • The problem with images of Indians in mainstream culture

Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 7/8/1994      Program Number: 2472

Music Included

From Album: Earth Spirit
Artist: R. Carlos Nakai
Triloka Records #4137-2

From Album: AKA Grafitti Man
Artist: John Trudel
1992 Rykodisc #RCD 10223
Track - Rich Man's War