English 583: Special Topics in World Literature

Professor C. Allen

Topic: Indigenous Voices: Fourth World Literature

 

Course Policies & Syllabus

 

In this course we will read, view, and listen to literature produced by writers, filmmakers, and musicians who identify as indigenous minorities in First World nations: American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians in the United States, Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand, First Nations peoples in Canada, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia, and Sami in the Scandinavian countries.  The texts we analyze will range widely and will include poems, stories, novels, essays, activist discourse, documentary and feature films, and popular music.

 

Required Texts

Course packets, Part 1 and Part 2

Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter (University of Hawaii Press)

Haunani-Kay Trask, Light in the Crevice Never Seen (Calyx)

Doris Pilkington, Rabbit-Proof Fence (Hyperion)

Patricia Grace, Potiki (University of Hawaii Press)

Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water (Bantam)

 

Assignments

1.         Class Participation.  20%

            Students will be rewarded for actively contributing to class discussions and for listening

attentively, as well as for coming to class on time, well prepared, and with a positive

attitude.  In addition, the participation grade will include:

 

Discussion Leader.  Each student will serve as a designated discussion leader once

during the quarter.  Discussion leaders should come to class with several observations

about the assigned reading and several questions to help generate class discussion.

 

Exploration Papers.  1 page.  due regularly (see daily syllabus).

Use these short essays to "explore" ideas and/or questions you have about the assigned

readings.  I will suggest possible topics in class, but you are free to create your own.  The

purpose of these explorations is to help you focus your reading and to help generate class

discussion.

 

2.         Research Exercise #1.  2-3 pages.  10%

            Your challenge is to locate an interesting web site that is operated or sponsored by a

specific indigenous nation or tribal group in the United States, Hawaii, Canada,

Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, or Scandinavia.  Provide the full web address and

write a 2-3 page review of the site.  In your review make sure that you 1) clearly identify

the tribal group or indigenous nation that operates the site, 2) describe the site's major

features and points of interest (including relevant links), and 3) analyze the site's primary

and secondary audiences, as well as the site's usefulness in terms of the kinds and quality

of information it provides.

3.         Research Exercise #2.  2-3 pages.  10%

            Your challenge here is to locate an interesting web site that is operated or sponsored by

an indigenous minority activist organization or coalition group that is either inter-tribal

(in a specific country or region) or trans-indigenous (international).  Provide the full web

address and write a 2-3 page review of the site.  Follow the guidelines provided for #1.

 

4.         Research Project.  5-6 pages.  20%

            Choose one of the required readings.  Then choose between 1 and 3 "elements" from the

reading to research -- a place, a person, an historical event, a document or law, an

organization, a cultural item, practice, or tradition, an indigenous language, and so forth. 

This project requires that you use at least 5 sources; 1 of these must be a book or

periodical, and 1 must be an internet source.  In a 5-6 page essay, explain why you chose

a particular element or elements to research, and argue how your research affects your

understanding and/or interpretation of the required text.

 

5.         Mid-term Exam.  20%

            The mid-term exam will cover the readings through Week 6.  It will consist of several

short answer questions, several passages for close reading, and two short essays.

 

6.         Final Exam.  20%

            The final exam will cover the entire quarter, but will concentrate on the readings and

films from the final four weeks.  The format will be similar to that of the mid-term exam.

 

Daily Syllabus

Week 1

Tu                     Introduction to course policies and daily syllabus.

 

                         1. Defining Indigenous Identities

 

Th                     Read Allen, "Indigenous Peoples"; World Council of Indigenous Peoples,

"Solemn Declaration"; Forbes, "Only Approved Indians Can Play Made in USA";

and Taylor, "Oh, Just Call Me an Indian" (course pack 1).

Exploration paper #1 due in class.

Sign up for discussion leaders.

 

2. Kanaka Maoli: Native Hawai'i

 

Week 2

Tu                     Read Trask, "Introduction," "Politics in the Pacific Islands," "Kupa'a Aina:

Native Hawaiian Nationalism in Hawaii," "Lovely Hula Hands," and "From a

Native Daughter" in From a Native Daughter.

 

Th                     Read Trask, Light in the Crevice Never Seen.

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

Exploration paper #2 due in class.

 

3. American Indians in the United States

 

Week 3

Tu                     Read Deloria, "Indians Today, The Real and the Unreal" and "The Popularity of

Being Indian";  Cook-Lyn, "Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner"; LaDuke,

"Giiwedahn: Coming Home Summer 2000"; Vizenor, "Ethnic Derivatives:

Tricksterese Versus Anthropologetics" (course pack 1).                        

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

Th                     Read Tapahonso, "What I Am"; Belin, "In the Cycle of the Whirl"; Rose, "Neon

Scars"; Northrup, "The Rez Road Follies" (course pack 1).

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

Exploration paper #3 due in class.

 

                         4. Aboriginal Australia

 

Week 4

Tu                     Read Miller, excerpts from Koori: A Will to Win; Weller, "Going Home";

Frankland, "Who Took the Children Away?" (course pack 1).

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

Research Exercise #1 due in class.

 

Th                     Read Pilkington, Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Recommended film: Rabbit-Proof Fence (available for rent).

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

                         5. Indigenous in Northern Europe: Sami Identity

 

Week 5

Tu                     Read Selbourne, "Introduction"; poetry by Valkeapaa, Aikio, and Tapio; Gaski,

excerpts from "Introduction"; Valkeapaa, "The Circle of Life"; Vars, "Boarding

School"; and Gaup, "The Night Between the Days" (course pack 2).

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

                         6. Tangata Maori: Indigenous in Aotearoa/New Zealand

 

Th                     Read Ihimaera, "The Greenstone Patu"; Taylor, "The Carving" and "Sad Joke on

a Marae"; Hulme, "Silence . . . on another Marae" and "Nga Kehua"; Kawana,

"Moko Carved in Rimu"; Hapeta, "E Tu"; and Grace, "Ngati Kangaru" (course

pack 2).

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

Exploration paper #4 due in class.

 

7. First Nations in Canada

 

Week 6

Tu                     Read Maracle, excerpts from I Am Woman; Warrior, "Compatriots"; King,

"Borders" (course pack 2).

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

Th                     Mid-term exam.

 

                         8. The Contemporary Maori Novel: Patricia Grace

 

Week 7

Tu                     Read Orbell, "Maui: The Trickster Hero"; Hyland, "Maui, the Demi-god" (course

pack 2); Grace, Potiki.

Research Exercise #2 due in class.

In-class screening of documentary Bastion Point Day 507.

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

Th                     Read Grace, Potiki.

Exploration paper #5 due in class.

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

                         9. The Contemporary American Indian/First Nations Novel: Thomas King

 

Week 8

Tu                     Read King, Green Grass, Running Water.

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

Th                     Read King, Green Grass, Running Water.

                         Exploration paper #6 due in class.

Discussion leaders: _____________________________________________

 

                         10. Indigenous Film

 

Week 9

Tu                     Read Barclay, excerpt from Our Own Image (course pack 2).

                         In-class screening film Ngati.

 

Th                     Read Barclay, excerpt from Our Own Image (course pack 2).

                         Exploration paper #7 due in class.

 

Week 10

Tu                     Read Vizenor, "Harold of Orange: A Screenplay" (course pack 2).

                         In-class screening of indigenous short films.

 

Th                     In-class screening of indigenous short films.

                         Research Project due in class.

 

M                      Final exam.