ENG 259 : Native American Literature

Students will explore common themes and concerns of the Native American experience, while simultaneously learning the diversity of that experience. We will read novels, autobiographies, speeches, essays, poems, memoirs, or plays by and about celebrated Native Americans. Of the 574 recognized tribes in what is now the United States, this course will introduce students to only a fraction, such as Blackfeet, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chickasaw, Chippewa, Creek, Diné, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, and Modoc, as we critically analyze the historical, cultural, and social dimensions of Native American oral and literary traditions from before the European invasion to the present. We may cover core themes of decoloniality, environmentalism, activism, among others. Writers may include Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gerald Vizenor, James Welch, Joy Harjo, Sherman Alexie, Dina Gilio-Whittaker, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Tommy Orange. Prerequisite: ENG 102 or permission of instructor. Three class hours a week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Human Expression and Multicultural and Social Perspectives.
1. Recognize the historical and cultural background of Native American literary creation, including the history of colonization in North America. 2. Examine the ways Native American texts create knowledge, from precolonial times to today. 3. Critique assumptions about and representations of Native American culture and literature. 4. Analyze themes, styles, and/or storytelling techniques in Native American texts. 5. Compose written analyses and/or oral presentations on these topics.





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