Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Pamela Haynes



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Verner Mitchell

Committee Member

Lorinda Cohoon

Committee Member

Donal Harris

Committee Member

Ladrica Menson-Furr


ABSTRACT Haynes, Pamela L, PhD. The University of Memphis, May 2023 “Needles inside the earthen pot”: Historicizing and Exploring the Terms “Native American Renaissance” and “The Fourth Wave” Major Professor Verner Mitchell. This dissertation explores the controversies surrounding the following questions: in what ways are the appellations “First Wave,” “Second Wave,” “Third Wave,” and “Fourth Wave” accurate and appropriately descriptive of the burgeoning efflorescence among literary artists of the Native American Nations? In what ways could descriptive appellations be more historically and contextually compelling? This dissertation specifically examines the “intense poetic aesthetic” of “The Fourth Wave” of “The Native American Renaissance.” Further examination will be made of how Bitsui, Smoker, Wurth and Broyles began “The Fourth Wave” of “The Native American Renaissance” with novel experimentation and innovativeness of the “poetic aesthetic.” An analysis of how Santee Frazier, Orlando White, Sy Hoahwah, Jennifer Elise Foerster and Layli Long Soldier continued “The Fourth Wave” of “The Native American Renaissance” with circuitous thrusts backward and forward among the “Four Waves” of “The Native American Renaissance” will follow. Finally, an explanation will be made of how Terese Marie Mailhot and Tommy Orange are representative of the latest crest among literary artists of “the Fourth Wave” of “the Native American Renaissance” whose distinction is noticeably an irreverence, a “nothing is held sacred” touch, and last, but not least, a willingness to enter into arenas previously considered “untouchable” by literary artists of not only “the First Wave,” “the Second Wave,” and “the Third Wave” but also “the Fourth Wave” of “the Native American Renaissance” as well.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Embargoed until 4/4/2025

Available for download on Friday, April 04, 2025