Date of Award

Spring 2011


© 2011 Elisabeth Ziemba

Document Type




First Advisor

Julia Garrett

Second Advisor

Elizabeth DeWolfe

Third Advisor

Jennifer Tuttle


Regardless of the genre under which Malaeska was marketed, the cross-genre tropes and lessons can be seen which mark the novel as one that has been influenced by captivity narratives. Perhaps more so because of the subtle way it has been integrated into popular culture, the heritage of the Native American captivity tale remains even after physical Indian captivity has ceased, providing readers with a multilayered reading which asks them to think about the events of the time in which the story was written as well as the time in which the story is set, while critiquing the white supremacist standard that the Native American is the Other, and should be considered threatening or frightening, a being without equal rights simply because of cultural or racial differences. Far from being a footnote of American literature, Malaeska is a novel that forces the reader to engage in varied conversations with history and literature, from what was happening in the United States to what the author was reading that influenced how they wrote about the world.


Honors thesis