Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Mary Frances Hopkins


This study argues that in Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko rehearses her Laguna-Keres culture and her culture's interactions with others. She accomplishes this rehearsal by employing representations of performances from the Laguna people as well as other cultures. To establish the context of my argument, first I offer a brief exploration of the current critical interest in Native American arts and cultures, review questions involved in defining the parameters for a study of Native American novels, examine the significance of Native novels for performance scholarship, and review performance studies scholars' responses to Native texts. Second, I review methodologies from a variety of disciplines (from the early Social Scientific methods of anthropologists such as Henry Rowe Schoolcraft to the more contemporary Postmodern methods of Gerald Vizenor) that scholars have employed in examinations of Native discourse. Third, I evolve concepts of rehearsal and performance that distinguish them from each other and allow the formation of other concepts derived from the work of Stephen Greenblatt and Arnold Krupat for analyzing how Ceremony rehearses Laguna-Keres culture. Finally, using three examples of Silko's representations of performance, I argue that Silko's novel rehearses the Laguna-Keres culture as well as these peoples' interactions with other cultures.