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Native American Literature

ENGL 293.601
instructor(s):
W 6-9

From the late 1960s through today, Native American authors of the United States have published some of the most original and compelling literary writing in the English language. These modern texts succeed, in part, because they continue and draw from a long-standing tradition of Native American literary production going back to oral narratives, songs, and poetry. Additionally, they succeed by offering a unique view of mainstream US history and culture that speaks of both assimilation and alienation. This course will examine novels, poems, short stories, autobiographical writing, and films by contemporary authors like Black Elk, Gerald Vizenor, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Silko, Simon Ortiz, and Sherman Alexie. We will situate these texts in the full arc of European colonialism and pay special attention to paradoxical place Native American tribes hold in the U. S. as both sovereign entities and domestic dependent nations. Research into law, history, and literary criticism will complement the literary readings. Course Requirements: three 5-6 pp. papers, careful reading, and lively participation.