Indigenous Writing in English.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENGL 329

Trimester 1, 2006

 

 


Indigenous Writing in English.

 

 

 

Class sessions

 

Lecture:                      Thursday 10 - 11.50am

Hugh Mackenzie LT002

 

Weekly tutorials:        ** tba

 

 

 

 

Course Organisation

 

Lecturer/ Convener:   Alice Te Punga Somerville.

                                    alice.tepungasomerville@vuw.ac.nz

                                    4636818 (internal: 6818)

                                    office VZ909

 

 

Tutor: ** tba

 

Guest Lecturers:         Maria Bargh (Maori Studies VUW),

Teresia Teaiwa (Pacific Studies VUW),

Dennis McDermott

 

 

 

 

Course Texts

 

  • Course Notes (all of the required texts, other that those included in the anthology skins, are included in this reader)
  • Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm & Josie Douglas skins: contemporary Indigenous writing (Kegedonce & Jukurrpa)

 

 

 

About ENGL329: Indigenous Writing in English

 

 

 

This course holds the writing of Indigenous peoples at its centre. Through the creative works (fiction, poetry, journalism and activist texts, memoir and so on) of Indigenous people, we will explore and interrogate the concepts of Indigeneity, comparative Indigenous studies, nation, anticolonial resistance, decolonisation and the Urban Indigenous experience. We will also read critical writing about global Indigenous literatures, and about comparative inquiry. Because of our location in Aotearoa, and the Pacific, a major focus of this course will be Maori and Pacific writing. However, we will also read texts from Indigenous Nations that exist within the borders of Australia, Canada, and the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Aims and Objectives

 

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • discuss with some confidence the key features of the Indigenous Nations in each of the four nation-states (NZ, Australia, Canada, USA), and the Indigenous Pacific.
  • articulate the central arguments, and discuss some examples of, a 'pan-Indigenous' global Fourth World identification, including issues pertaining to the language used to talk about this community/ movement.
  • critically consider specific texts by Indigenous writers, and contextualise these texts through an understanding of literary traditions and the politics of publication and anthologising.
  • discuss the role of Indigenous writing that comes from, and/or engages with, urban Indigenous communities.

 


 

Class sessions

 

 

This course is arranged into four thematic modules:

  • writing our specificity, which focuses on specific indigenous nations subsumed by specific nation state contexts;
  • writing our indigeneity, which considers the multiple modes of connection between indigenous communities, including the very term 'indigenous';
  • rewriting ourselves, which explores genealogies of historical and contemporary non-indigenous representations of indigenous peoples ; and
  • writing ourselves, which looks at the particular ways in which indigenous writers treat the urban indigenous experience.

 

Each module asks a set of particular questions, and also contributes to our broader exploration of the course aims and objectives.

 

Obviously, you are expected to prepare for each class session by completing all of the relevant readings and writing assignments.

 

 

 

week/

lecture date

tutorial topic

lecture topic

student writing

1/  2 March

no tutorials

Framing

report #1 due 6.3

2/  9 March

Framing

New Zealand

report #a

3/  16 March

New Zealand

Australia

report #b

4/  23 March

Australia

North America

report #c

5/  30 March

North America

Indigenous Pacific

report #d

6/  6 April

Indigenous Pacific

In-class Anthology exercise

group wk #2 due 24.4

 

 

mid-trimester break

 

7/  27 April

Anthology exercise

Global Indigenous

essay #2 starter

8/  4 May

Global Indigenous

'Reading Indigenous'

essay #2 final due 8.5

9/  11 May

ways of reading

non-Indig. representation 1

research essay starter

10/ 18 May

non-Indig. repr.

non-Indig. representation 2

report #5

11/ 25 May

urban Indigenous

urban Indigenous writing

report #6

12/ 1 June

 

wrapping up

research essay due 6.6

 


 

Week 1 (2/3)              Introductions/ Framing

 

read

(in class)

Introduction to skins

watch

Maori TV!

write

(due to Lecturer Monday 6 March 5pm; sending it to me via email is fine)

Report #1

What does 'Indigenous' mean? In your writing, reflect on where you got your ideas about 'indigenous' from. What do you bring to this class? Why does it interest you?

 

 

"writing our specificity"

 

 

--           What are key aspects of the specific contexts of the Nations subsumed by New Zealand, the US, Canada, and Australia? How does the Indigenous Pacific fit into this conversation?

--           What is the role of specific naming in the construction and maintenance of indigenousness?

 

 

Week 2 (9/3)            Aotearoa New Zealand

                                   

read

 

Grace, Grace-Smith, Ihimaera and Komene from skins

Ramsden , Potiki, Mita from TAM2 (handouts)

watch

Mauri , Te Rua, Tama Tu, The Little Things, Two Cars One Night, Tama Tu

write

(due in lecture)

Report #a

Reflect on something from the world around you this week that pertains to the issue of Maori rights/ position as tangata whenua. 

 

 

Week 3 (16/3)                        Australia

 

 

guest: Dennis McDermott

 

read

 

Frankland , Laughton, Lucashenko, Morgan, Pascoe and Wright from skins

 

Ooodgeroo. "Aboriginal Charter of Rights." Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 1-2

Boori Monty Pryor. "Breaking the Cycle." Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 116-120

Martin Nakata. "Better." Blacklines: contemporary critical writing by Indigenous Australians. Michele Grossman (ed). Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 2003: 132-144

Helen Lockyer. "Fragments from Life." Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 305-309

Jack Davis. "black life." Fresh cuttings: a Celebration of fiction and poetry from UQP's Black Writing Series. Sue Abbey & Sandra Phillips (eds). St Lucis, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2003: 112-113

Melissa Lucashenko. "I Am Not My Life." untreated: poems by black writers. Josie Douglas (ed). Alice Springs, NT: Jukurrpa Books, 2001: 36-37

Melissa Lucashenko. "You are the Fringes." untreated: poems by black writers. Josie Douglas (ed). Alice Springs, NT: Jukurrpa Books, 2001: 34-35

Graeme Dixon. "Darryl." untreated: poems by black writers. Josie Douglas (ed). Alice Springs, NT: Jukurrpa Books, 2001: 10-11

Janice Slater. "The March." Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 172

Marcia Langton. "Aboriginal art and film: the politics of representation." Blacklines: contemporary critical writing by Indigenous Australians. Michele Grossman (ed). Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 2003: 109-124

watch

Radiance, Rabbit Proof Fence

write

(due in lecture)

Report #b

Talk to someone who has been to Australia about the impressions of Indigenous communities they got from their trip. (If they have no impressions, talk about that.) Write critically about the conversation.

 

 

Week 4 (23/3)                      North America

           

 

read

 

Alexie, Blaeser, Bruchac, Erdrich, Hogan, Campbell, Ipellie, King and Van Camp from skins

 

Sherman Alexie. "13/16." Nothing but the Truth: an Anthology of Native American Literature. John Purdy & James Ruppert (eds). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001: 416-417

Joy Harjo. "Perhaps the World Ends Here." Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America. Joy Harjo & Gloria Bird (eds). New York: WW Norton & Co, 1997: 556-557

Chrystos. "I have not signed a treaty with the United States Government." Border Texts: Cultural Readings for Contemporary Writers. Randall Bass (ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999: 507-508

Vine DeLoria, Jr. "Indian Humour." Nothing but the Truth: an Anthology of Native American Literature. John Purdy & James Ruppert (eds). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001: 39-53

Fred Bigjim. "Ballet in Bethel." The Last New Land: stories of Alaska, past and present. Wayne Mergler (ed). Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books, 1996: 674-675

Nila NorthSun. "99 things to do before you die." Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America. Joy Harjo & Gloria Bird (eds). New York: WW Norton & Co, 1997: 394-397

Nila NorthSun. "red flags yellow flags." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 216-217

Nila NorthSun. "stupid questions." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 217-218

Nora Marks Dauenhauer. "How to Make Good Baked Salmon from the River." Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America. Joy Harjo & Gloria Bird (eds). New York: WW Norton & Co, 1997: 201-206

Janet Campbell Hale. "The Only Good Indian." Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America. Joy Harjo & Gloria Bird (eds). New York: WW Norton & Co, 1997: 123-148

Diane Glancy. "Genealogy." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 120-121

Elise Paschen. "Two Standards." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 223-225

Gail Tremblay. "After the Invasion." Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America. Joy Harjo & Gloria Bird (eds). New York: WW Norton & Co, 1997: 518-519

Leslie Marmon Silko. "Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective." Nothing but the Truth: an Anthology of Native American Literature. John Purdy & James Ruppert (eds). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001: 159-165

Leslie Marmon Silko. "(Untitled)." Nothing but the Truth: an Anthology of Native American Literature. John Purdy & James Ruppert (eds). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001: 536-539

 

watch

Smoke Signals, The Business of Fancydancing , Dance Me Outside

write

(due in lecture)

Report #c

Write a personal response to one of the texts from the readings for this week.

 

 

Week 5 (30/3)                                  Indigenous Pacific

 

 

guest: Dr Teresia Teaiwa

 

read

Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard. "introduction: a kind of genealogy." Alchemies of Distance. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, 2001: 11-28

Dixie Samasoni. "Returning Home to Samoa." Asian-Pacific Literature. Harstad & Harstad (eds). Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1981: 200-214

Karlo Mila. "Beyond Blackbirder Legacies." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 29-30

Karlo Mila. "On Joining Pacifica." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 25-26

Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard. "Sa Nafanua." Alchemies of Distance. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, 2001: 43-44

David Welchman Gegeo. "Cultural Rupture and Indigeneity: The Challenge of (Re)visioning 'Place' in the Pacific." The Contemporary Pacific 13 (2): 2001: 491-507

Haunani-Kay Trask. "Introduction." From a Native Daughter. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999: 1-21

Haunani-Kay Trask. "Sisters." Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America. Joy Harjo & Gloria Bird (eds). New York: WW Norton & Co, 1997: 520

Haunani-Kay Trask. "Writing in Captivity: Poetry in a Time of Decolonization." Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the New Pacific. Vilsoni Hereniko & Rob Wilson (eds). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999: 17-26

Laura Marie Torres Souder. "Island Metamorphosis: Guam's History of Conflict and Adaptation." Daughters of the Island. Lanham: University Press of America, 1992: 26-42

watch

The Land Has Eyes, **Hawaiian -- kava etc

write

(due in lecture)

Report #d

How does the Indigenous Pacific fit into the framework 'Indigenous?' Imagine that Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and Josie Douglass have asked you whether texts from the Indigenous Pacific should have been included in their anthology skins. Keeping in mind the texts you have read for this week, write them a reply.

 

 

Week 6 (6/4)                        In-class Anthology exercise

 

 

discuss/ write

(Both group and individual writing due Monday 24 April.)

This compulsory class session will be spent working on the Group Work 2 assignment. 

You need to bring with you the text you want to include in your group's anthology (see detailed description of assignment for more information).

 

 

 

>Mid trimester break<


 

"writing our indigeneity"

 

--           What are the tensions, limitations and possibilities in the various definitions of indigenousness?

--           For what purposes, and by whom, is the umbrella term "Indigenous" mobilised?

 

 

Week 7 (27/4)                                  Global Indigenous

                       

 

guest: Dr Maria Bargh

 

read

 

Haunani-Kay Trask. "Returning the Gift." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 289-290

Jace Weaver. "Indigenousness and Indigeneity." A Companion to Postcolonial Studies. Henry Schwarz & Sangeeta Ray (eds). Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000: 221-235

Andre Beteille. "The Idea of Indigenous People." Current Anthropology 39 (2) April 1998: 187-191

Kanalu Young. "An Interdisciplinary Study of the Term 'Hawaiian.'" Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics 1 (Summer): 2004: 23-45

Maria Degabriele. "Native." SPAN (Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies) 37: 1993: np

Taiaiake Gerald Alfred. "A Note on Terminology." Peace Power Righteousness: an Indigenous Manifesto. Don Milla, Ont.: Oxford University Press, 1999: xxv-xxvi

Denise Groves. "To What Extent is Contemporary Aboriginal Identity Political?" Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 136-142

joannemariebarker & Teresia Teaiwa "Native InFormation." Inscriptions 7. Santa Cruz: Centre for Cultural Studies UCSC, 1994: 16-41

Ronald Niezen. "A New Global Phenomenon?" The Origins of Indigenism: Human Rights and the Politics of Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003: 1-28

Drew Hayden Taylor. "Oh, Just Call Me an Indian." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 281-283

Mudrooroo. "Our Indigenality." Us Mob: History, Culture Struggle: An Introduction to Indigenous Australia. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1995: 1-17

Michael Dodson. "The end in the beginning: re(de)fining Aboriginality." Blacklines: contemporary critical writing by Indigenous Australians. Michele Grossman (ed). Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 2003: 25-42

watch

Te Rua

write

(due in lecture)

Essay # 2 starter

Your mark for essay #2 ('Writing our Indigeneity') is made up of 15% for the final essay and 5% for this 'starter.'

Write between 1 and 2 pages of your own thoughts, responding to the readings for this week. Spend at least a paragraph outlining how you will draw on this critical work into your essay. The writing does not have to be formal, but needs to demonstrate that you have engaged with the critical ideas presented in the readings; be sure to name the specific texts you will treat in your essay.

 

 

Week 8 (4/5)                        Discussing/ Reading Indigenous

 

 

read

 

Chadwick Allen. "Conclusion: Declaring a Fourth World." Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002: 195-220

Jack Davis. "the writers." Fresh cuttings: a Celebration of fiction and poetry from UQP's Black Writing Series. Sue Abbey & Sandra Phillips (eds). St Lucis, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2003: 118

Selina Tusitala Marsh. "Theory 'versus' Pacific Islands Writing: Toward a Tama'ita'i Criticism in the Works of Three Pacific Islands Woman Poets." Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the New Pacific. Vilsoni Hereniko & Rob Wilson (eds). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999: 337-356

Karlo Mila. "For Sia Figiel." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 13-14

Karlo Mila. "For Albert Wendt (On his Birthday)." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 15

Karlo Mila. "For John Pule." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 16

Karlo Mila. "For Alice Walker." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 17

Karlo Mila. "The Poet as Unionist." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 111

Anita Heiss. "Indigenous Discourse." Dhuuluu-Yala: To Talk Straight: Publishing Indigenous Literature. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2003: 25-46

Emerance Baker. "Loving Indianess: Native Women's Storytelling as Survivance." Atlantis 29 (2) 2005: 1-15

Kim Scott. "Disputed Territory." Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 162-171

Anita Heiss. "White and Black poetry readings: distinct differences." untreated: poems by black writers. Josie Douglas (ed). Alice Springs, NT: Jukurrpa Books, 2001: 23-24

Sherman Alexie. "The Unauthorized Autobiography of Me." One Stick Song. Brooklyn, NY: Hanging Loose Press, 2000: 13-25

watch

 

write

(due Monday 8 May)

Essay # 2 final

 

 

"rewriting ourselves"

 

 

--           What are the genealogies of representation of Native people by/ among non-Native peoples?

--           What are the major implications of such representations?

--           How have Native writers engaged with these modes of representation?

--           How do some super-contemporary representations of Indigenous peoples merge with, and differ from, the 'historical' versions?

 

 

Week 9 (11/5)                                    Genealogies of non-Indigenous representation

 

 

read

 

Kimberly M Blaeser. "'Native Americans' vs. 'The Poets.' " Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 45

Karlo Mila. "Sacred Pulu." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 35-37

Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard. "Paradise Rejected." Alchemies of Distance. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, 2001: 35-36

Lisa Bellear. "Artist Unknown." Dreaming in Urban Areas. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1996: 41-42

Lisa Bellear. "Souled Out." Dreaming in Urban Areas. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1996: 43

Sherman Alexie. "How to Write the Great American Indian Novel." Nothing but the Truth: an Anthology of Native American Literature. John Purdy & James Ruppert (eds). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001: 425-427

Thomas King. "You're not the Indian I had in Mind." The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative. Toronto, Ont: House of Anansi Press, 2003: 31-60

Rayna Green. "The Pocahontas Perplex: the Image of American Indian Women in American Culture." Negotiators of change: historical perspectives on Native American Women. Nancy Shoemaker (ed). New York: Routledge, 1995: 698-714

Linda Tuhiwai Smith. "Colonizing Knowledges." Decolonizing Methodologies: Research Methods and Indigenous Peoples. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1999: 58-77

watch

Aroha , To Love a Maori, The Searchers, ** Sima Urale: Velvet Dreams

write

(due in lecture)

Research essay starter

Write between 1 and 2 pages about your research essay. As for the essay #2 starter, the writing does not need to be overly formal but needs to be clear. Make sure you name the texts on which you will focus, and show how your topic relates to the overall themes of the course.

By this time, you should have discussed the topic with the Lecturer and finalised your main ideas, and you should have developed a general essay plan.

You also need to show this starter to at least one other person in the class (you will be paired in tutorials), and ask them for written feedback about your ideas.

Hand in your essay plan, your original starter, the feedback from someone else, and a paragraph response from you to their feedback.

 

 

Week 10 (18/5)                                  Contemporary non-Indigenous representation

 

 

read

 

Current news clippings (to be collected over the course of the semester), including 'news' and advertisements

Michael Yellow Bird. "Toys of Genocide, Icons of American Imperialism." Wicazo Sa Review Fall 2004: 33-48

Paul Chaat Smith. "The Meaning of Life." Reservation X. Gerald McMaster (ed). Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press & Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1998: 31-40

Robert Eggington. "Jangga Meenya Bomunggur (The Smell of the White Man is Killing Us.)" Reconciliation: Essays on Australian Reconciliation. Michelle Grattan (ed). Melbourne: Black Inc., 2000: 132-135

Karlo Mila. "Eating Dark Chocolate and watching Paul Holmes' Apology." Dream Fish Floating. Wellington: Huia, 2005: 43-45

Chrystos. "Zenith Supplies." Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival. Joseph Bruchac (ed). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994: 79

Monica Ka'imipono Ka'iwi. "Hey, haole lady" Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English. Robert Sullivan, Albert Wendt & Reina Whaitiri (eds). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003: 84-85

Haunani -Kay Trask. "racist white woman." Bamboo

              Ridge 36 (Fall) 1988: 86-87

Chrystos. "Rude as 2:29am." Fire Power. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1995: 49-50

Romaine Moreton. "Soap is Easy." untreated: poems by black writers. Josie Douglas (ed). Alice Springs, NT: Jukurrpa Books, 2001: 46-47

Barry Barclay. "An open letter to John Barnett from Barry Barclay." OnFilm Feb 2003: 11, 14

watch

NZ -- the Royal Tour ( 2002 documentary)

 

write

(due in lecture)

Report #5

Find, and respond to, a contemporary description/ image of Indigenous peoples.

                       

 

"writing ourselves"

 

 

--           What are some of the key themes, preoccupations and dimensions of urban Native writing?

--           What are some of the possibilities and limitations of reading Urban Indigenous texts alongside non-Urban Indigenous texts?

 

 

Week 11 (25/5)                                  Urban Indigenous Writing

 

 

read

 

Samuel Cruickshank: 'urban iwi: tihei mauri ora!'

: 'His Beautifull Full-Blood Face'

Fred Penny 'The Urba-rigine'

watch

Once Were Warriors, The Little Things, Turangawaewae, Grand Avenue

write

(due in lecture)

Report #6

Go and sit in a very 'urban' area (maybe Cuba Mall, the Porirua shopping centre, or Queensgate), and read some of the texts from this week. Notice how the particular urban space is configured, and how it feels to read these texts in that space. Write about this.

 

           

Week 12 (1/6)                                    Urban Indigenous Writing/ Wrapping up.

 

 

read

(required)

 

watch

 

write

(due Tuesday 6 June)

Research essay final

 


 

Student resources for this course

 

 

Manaaki/ PASS/ SLS/ Library/ Financial etc

 

 


 

Assessment:

 

Assignment

% of final mark

Due date

Reading reports (6)

10

6, 9, 16, 23, 30 March;

18, 25 May

Group work #1 (seminar presentation) & essay  #1: 'Writing our Specificity'

20

9, 16, 23, or 30 March

Group work #2: 'Survival' (an anthology exercise), with individual written component.

10

24 April

Essay #2: 'Writing our Indigeneity'

20

8 May

Research essay: Essay on own research topic.

40

6 June

 

 

10%    Reading reports

           

You are to write 6 reading reports, which have a combined weighting of 10% of your overall mark for the course.

 

Produce a page of writing (around 500 words) about the readings for that week. These reports are due at the class session for that topic, or emailed to me before the class session; late reports are not marked.

 

The reports are numbered 1, a, b, c, d, 5, and 6.

 

Write three reports out of a, b, c and d. You do not write a report the week you present in class and hand in essay #1: your reports 2, 3 and 4 are the three reports (from the reports numbered a, b, c & d) for the weeks you don't present.

 

 

Report #1

What does 'Indigenous' mean? In your writing, reflect on where you got your ideas about 'indigenous' from: what do you bring to this class? Why does it interest you?

 

Reports #2, #3 and #4

 

Report #a

Reflect on something from the world around you this week that pertains to the issue of Maori rights/ position as tangata whenua 

 

Report #b

Talk to someone who has been to Australia about the impressions of Indigenous communities they got from their trip. (If they have no impressions, talk about that.) Write critically about the conversation.

 

Report #c

Write a personal response to one of the texts from the readings for this week.

 

Report #d

How does the Indigenous Pacific fit into the framework 'Indigenous?' Imagine that Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and Josie Douglass have asked you whether texts from the Indigenous Pacific should have been included in their anthology skins. Keeping in mind the texts you have read for this week, write them a reply.

 

Report #5

Find, and respond to, a contemporary description/ image of Indigenous peoples.

 

Report #6

Go and sit in a very 'urban' area, and read some of the texts from this week. Notice how the urban space is configured, and how it feels to read these texts in that space. Write about this.

 

20%    Group work #1 (seminar presentation) & essay #1: ‘Writing our Specificity’

 

The literature we are reading comes from many different Nations and nation-states, each with a unique set of stories to tell, and a unique historical, cultural, economic and political context. In groups, you will provide a short presentation and lead the class in discussion about one of these places. The presentation is to give us a bit of shared knowledge about the background of the literature – a bit about the history of the place and the people who live there. As a group, lead us in discussion by asking some questions about the readings, highlighting what you found interesting and/ or significant about the writing.

 

Individually, choose one text from the context on which you present, and relate it to its Nation and nation-state context. (1000 words) This final essay #1 is due the day you present to the class.

 

Your group presentation will account for 10% of this mark, and your essay for the other 10%.

 

10%    Group work #2: ‘Survival’ (an anthology exercise), with individual written component.

 

This exercise will be held during class time, week 6. Of the 10% total for this assignment, 5% will be your written report and letter, and 5% will be your group project.

 

With some colleagues, you are editing an anthology of Native writing that you have tentatively entitled Still Ourselves; Indigenous Peoples and Survival.

 

o       As a group, write the 'blurb' for the back cover of the book. Explain the contexts from which the anthology collects and why the book has been produced. Point out some of the major themes and trends a reader of such an anthology might expect to find inside. Pay attention to the language of dust-jacket descriptions, and try to emulate this in your blurb. Together, choose an image for the front cover.

 

o       Find one text that is not collected in the course packet, or that we have not discussed in class, that you think would be a good addition to the book. Write a letter to your co-editors about the piece, arguing why it is a fit/ interesting/ apt text for inclusion. Make sure you bring the text and letter along to the in-class exercise. 

o       When you hand this letter in, attach a short comment outlining your experience of this exercise. Include your thoughts about how the editorial group responded to your claims about the text, and pay attention to how your relationship to the text influenced your input into the blurb and choice of image.

 

20%    Essay #2: 'Writing our Indigeneity'

 

Drawing on critical work about Indigeneity and Indigenous peoples, write about texts from at least two nation-state contexts, one of which is Aotearoa-New Zealand. (2000 words)

 

Your mark for essay #2 ('Writing our Indigeneity') is made up of 5% for the 'starter,' and 15% for the final essay.

 

Starter:

Write between 1 and 2 pages of your own thoughts, responding to the readings for this week. Spend at least a paragraph outlining how you will draw on this critical work into your essay. The writing does not have to be formal, but needs to demonstrate that you have engaged with the critical ideas presented in the readings; be sure to name the specific texts you will treat in your essay.

 

40%    Long essay: Essay on own research topic.

           

Produce an essay (4000 words) about some aspect of Indigenous Writing in English which appeals to you. You may wish to focus on a particular text, author, nation-state, iwi, critical claim etc. Your essay needs to demonstrate engagement with the themes of the course, and treatment of specific texts (critical and/or literary).

 

At this level of study, there is an expectation that your essay will be well structured, clearly expressed, and correctly referenced. Your argument should be well supported by specific textual references.

 

Your overall mark for this essay is made up of a starter (10%) and final draft (30%).

 

By the time you hand in the starter, you need to discuss your topic with the Lecturer and finalised your main ideas. Email, phone or meet me after class to make an appointment to discuss this essay.

 

Starter:

Write between 1 and 2 pages about your research essay. As for the essay #2 starter, the writing does not need to be overly formal but needs to be clear. Make sure you name the texts on which you will focus, and show how your topic relates to the overall themes of the course.

By this time, you should have discussed the topic with the Lecturer and finalised your main ideas, and you should have developed a general essay plan.

You also need to show this starter to at least one other person in the class (you will be paired in tutorials), and ask them for written feedback about your ideas.

Hand in your essay plan, your original starter, the feedback from someone else, and a paragraph response from you to their feedback.