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Topics in American Literature: Native American

ENGL 286.601
instructor(s):
R 5:30-8:10

This course will attempt to provide an overview of a vast subject: the literatures created by the Native peoples of North America, from the earliest period of European "contact" up through the contemporary era. Because no single course could ever encompass such a large topic, this one will be necessarily selective. Issues we will discuss include the written transcription of oral texts and traditions and the question of how such materials are to be interpreted-and by whom. We will read Native American autobiographies by Blackhawk, N. Scott Momaday, and others. We will also consider accounts of Native peoples by European or Euro-American writers and discuss the possibilities of recovering Native perspectives from within these texts. Other Native authors we may read include William Apes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, and James Welch. Our texts may include creation stories; treaty documents; Supreme Court arguments; short stories by contemporary Native writers; newspaper articles; and perhaps a film or two.