Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226777436 Will Publish May 2021
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9780226777269 Will Publish May 2021
E-book $27.50 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226777573 Will Publish May 2021

What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?

Edited by John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Parry Hecht, Melissa K. Nelson, and Katherine Kassouf Cummings

What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?

Edited by John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Parry Hecht, Melissa K. Nelson, and Katherine Kassouf Cummings

248 pages | 3 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2021
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226777436 Will Publish May 2021
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9780226777269 Will Publish May 2021
E-book $27.50 ISBN: 9780226777573 Will Publish May 2021
As we face an ever-more-fragmented world, What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be? demands a return to the force of lineage—to spiritual, social, and ecological connections across time. It sparks a myriad of ageless-yet-urgent questions: How will I be remembered? What traditions do I want to continue? What cycles do I want to break? What new systems do I want to initiate for those yet-to-be-born? How do we endure? Published in association with the Center for Humans and Nature and interweaving essays, interviews, and poetry, this book brings together a thoughtful community of Indigenous and other voices—including Linda Hogan, Wendell Berry, Winona LaDuke, Vandana Shiva, Robin Kimmerer, and Wes Jackson—to explore what we want to give to our descendants. It is an offering to teachers who have come before and to those who will follow, a tool for healing our relationships with ourselves, with each other, and with our most powerful ancestors—the lands and waters that give and sustain all life.
Contents
Introduction

Poem: Unsigned Letter to a Human in the 21st Century
Jamaal May

I. Embedded: Our ancestral responsibility is deeply rooted in a multigenerational relationship to place.

a. Poem: Great Granddaddy
Taiyon Coleman

b. Essays: 
 
i. Ancestor of Fire
Aaron A. Abeyta

ii. Grounded
Aubrey Streit Krug

iii. My Home / It’s Called the Darkest Wild
Sean Prentiss

c. Interview: Wendell Berry
Leah Bayens

d. Poem: To the Children of the 21st Century
Frances H. Kakugawa

II. Reckoning: Reckoning with ancestors causing and ancestors enduring historical trauma.

a. Poem: Forgiveness?
Shannon Gibney

b. Essays: 
 
i. Sister’s Stories
Eryn Wise

ii. Of Land and Legacy
Lindsay Lunsford

iii. Cheddar Man
Brooke Williams

iv. Formidable
Kathleen Dean Moore

c. Interview: Caleen Sisk
Brooke Parry Hecht and Toby McLeod

d. Poem: Promises, Promises
Frances H. Kakugawa

III. Healing: Enhancing some ancestral cycles while breaking others.

a. Poem: To Future Kin
Brian Calvert

b. Essays:
 
i. Moving with the Rhythm of Life
Katherine Kassouf Cummings

ii. (A Korowai) For When You Are Lost
Manea Sweeney

iii. To Hope of Becoming Ancestors
Princess Daazhraii Johnson and Julianne Warren

c. Interview: Camille T. Dungy and Crystal Williams

d. Poem: Yes I Will
Frances H. Kakugawa

IV. Interwoven: Our descendants will know the kind of ancestor we are by reading the lands and waters where we lived.

a. Poem: Alive in This Century
Leora Gansworth

b. Essays:
 
i. What Is Your Rice?
John Hausdoerffer

ii. Restoring Indigenous Mindfulness within the Commons of Human Consciousness
Jack Loeffler

iii. Reading Records with Estella Leopold
Curt Meine

iv. How to Be Better Ancestors
Winona LaDuke

c. Interview: Wes Jackson
John Hausdoerffer and Julianne Lutz Warren

d. Poem: Omoiyare
Frances H. Kakugawa

V. Earthly: Other-than-human beings are our ancestors, too.

a. Poem: LEAF
Elizabeth Herron

b. Essays:
 
i. The City Bleeds Out (Reflections on Lake Michigan)
Gavin Van Horn

ii. I Want the Earth to Know Me as a Friend
Enrique Salmón

iii. The Apple Tree
Peter Forbes

iv. Humus
Catroina Sandilands

v. Building Good Soil
Robin Kimmerer

c. Interview: Vandana Shiva
John Hausdoerffer

d. Poem: Your Inheritance
Frances H. Kakugawa

VI. Seventh Fire

a. Poem: Time Traveler
Lyla June Johnston

b. Essays: 
 
i. Seeds 
Native Youth Guardians of the Waters 2017 Participants and Nicola Wagenberg

ii. Onëö’ (Word for Corn in Seneca)
Kaylena Bray

iii. Landing
Oscar Guttierez 

iv. Regenerative
Melissa K. Nelson

v. Nourishing
Rowen White

vi. Light
Rachel Wolfgramm and Chellie Spiller

c. Interview: Ilarion Merculieff
Brooke Parry Hecht

d. Poem: Lost in the Milky Way
Linda Hogan

Acknowledgments
Notes
About the Contributors
Index
 
Review Quotes
Gregory Cajete, author of "Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence"
What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be? captures the deep dialogue, continuity, and resonance Indigenous peoples feel and espouse for ancestors, ourselves, our children—with a view for the now and for our very uncertain future. And yet, its audience is at once Indigenous and Universal. Weaving poetry, narrative, interview, essay, and spirit, it is a unique, landmark tapestry. Utterly timely and profoundly urgent.”
Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of "The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge"
“The questions this book raises are of such staggering importance and relevance today. I cried. I laughed. I smiled. Many reading moments, beautiful or tragic or just deeply human, are difficult to forget.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Blog: Anthropology

Events in Anthropology

Keep Informed

JOURNALs