ENGL-209 Native American Literature
Fall for 2015-2016
This course introduces students to a range of twentieth-century texts – poems, novels, memoirs, and scholarship – by canonical Native American writers such as Zitkala-Sâ, Linda Hogan, Louise Erdrich, D’Arcy McNickle, James Welch, and M. Scott Momaday. In their work, these writers grapple with the rich, complicated histories and traditions that have emerged from colonization, the contact between indigenous nations and the U.S. We will explore how these representative writers express individual and tribal identities, revise stereotypes and contest colonization. For example, we will analyze how these authors reframe stories of victimization as narratives of survivance and strength. While respecting the specific cultural context of each writer and the demands of the literary genre of each text, this course will identify shared thematic concerns and literary strategies. To help us better appreciate the cultural work these texts do, we will also read native scholarship and work by non-native scholars on historical and cultural issues relevant to the texts such as forced removal, Indian boarding school programs, and sovereignty. The course will end with an investigation of recent controversies over the representation and appropriation of indigenous images in popular media by performers such as Drew Barrymore and Gwen Stefanie. As this course fulfills both English major and humanities writing II requirements, assignments will center on the writing process (prewriting, drafting, responding, revising, editing, and publication) to develop critical thinking skills that can be used across disciplines.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: