We Are the Stars: Honoring Our Literary Ancestors

We Are the Stars: Honoring Our Literary Ancestors, Sarah Hernandez (University of New Mexico). Online lecture followed by a conversation with Diane Wilson, author of The Seed Keeper.

Critically examining the U.S. as a settler colonial nation, this literary analysis re-centers Oceti Sakowin (historically known to some as the Sioux Nation) women as their tribes’ traditional culture keepers and culture bearers, and it offers thoughtful connections between settler colonialism, literature, nationalism, and gender.

Sarah Hernandez (Sicangu Lakota) is an assistant professor of Native American Literature and the director of the Institute for American Indian Research at the University of New Mexico. She is a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, an Oceti Sakowin-led nonprofit for Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota writers. Together they launched #NativeReads, a community-based reading campaign and podcast series that seeks to increase knowledge and appreciation of the Oceti Sakowin literary tradition. Sarah is also the author of We Are the Stars: Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition, a literary study that recovers the literary work of Dakota women and furthers discussions on settler colonialism, literature, nationalism, and gender.

Diane Wilson (Dakota) is a writer and educator, who has published four award-winning books as well as essays in numerous publications. Her first picture book, Where We Come From, co-written with John Coy, Sun Yung Shin, and Shannon Gibney, was released in October 2022. Wilson’s 2021 novel, The Seed Keeper (Milkweed Editions) received the 2022 Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. Her essays have appeared in many anthologies, including: Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations (2021); We Are Meant to Rise (2021); and A Good Time for the Truth (2016).



Sarah Hernandez


University of New Mexico