Upper-Division Seminar: Indigenous Literature

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Spring 2011
Instructor: Shewry, Teresa
Day(s): MW
Time: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Location: SH 2617

This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
From the cannibals, noble savages, and “vanishing races” imagined by European explorers of the new world, to visions of native peoples as utopian communitarian leftists or casino capitalists, writers and filmmakers have relentlessly imagined, and fantasized about, indigenous peoples. Ironically, their works have often marginalized the people that they purport to represent. This course will centralize creative works (novels, poetry, film, short stories) by indigenous peoples, and consider alternative approaches to storytelling, history, and politics. Along the way, we will be exploring topics of indigeneity; authenticity and heritage; memory and history; urban life and ecology; and comparative research methodologies. Through readings and discussions, students will engage with the basic histories, critical terms, and debates surrounding indigeneity as a mode of belonging. We will read works by writers from Australia, Aotearoa/ New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, including Melissa Lukashenko, Patricia Grace, Louise Erdrich, and Sherman Alexie. We will also examine a number of other media, from paintings to photographs to films.

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