Red Dead Conventions: American Indian Transgeneric Fictions

Jodi Byrd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article examines the use of generic conventions, especially in the so-called transgeneric interventions, in American Indian literature. It also considers how such conventions are subverted or redefined by Indigenous writers. It begins with a discussion of Rockstar Game’s 2010 open world video game Red Dead Redemption and argues that it fetishizes genre at the site of the Indian absent presence. It then looks at diverse genres such as Wild West zombie video games, captivity narratives, magical realism, and speculative fiction ranging from horror to fantasy. Finally, it analyzes the ways in which disruptions and rearticulations of various genres affirm the imaginative possibilities of Indigenous peoples today.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature
EditorsJames H Cox, Daniel Heath Justice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199914036
ISBN (Print)9780199983841
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • generic conventions
  • transgeneric interventions
  • American Indian literature
  • Indigenous writers
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • video games
  • magical realism
  • speculative fiction
  • genres
  • Indigenous peoples


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