ENGL-209 Native American Literature
Spring for 2016-2017
"You don't have anything / if you don't have the stories."--Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
"Much will be lost to them. . . . But they will know the way it was. The stories will be handed down."-- James Welch, Fools Crow
This course, on the cultures and traditions of the indigenous peoples of North America, will focus on Native American literature since the 1960s, a period that has come to be called the Native American Renaissance. We will read novels, poetry, plays, and literary and cultural criticism by major Native authors, and will watch performances (by Daystar/ Rosalie M. Jones and the Native comedy group, the 1491s) and at least one film (Powwow Highway (1989)). Some major preoccupations in this body of work are the recovery of Native identity and history; contesting and revising racial, gender, and colonial stereotypes about “Indians”; recollecting and affirming indigenous practices of resistance to colonization; exploring Native understandings of a traditional connection with the land and its diverse life forms; and addressing cultural and political issues involving sovereignty. We will examine writings in English, although some aspects of Native oral traditions will be explored when integral to understanding the written text. Authors include James Welch, Louise Erdrich, Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo, Linda Hogan, and Sherman Alexie.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Spring '17: Merish L (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
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