Eng. 291-E  S/T

 

NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE

3 credit hours

Rm. 209 Scholars Hall

Friday, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

 

INSTRUCTOR:  Lois Beardslee

 

OFFICE PHONE:

 

OFFICE HOURS:  Fridays, 12:00-3:00; by appointment

 

(The adjunct instructors’ office is located in the east end of Scholars Hall on the second floor, at the top of the stairs on the left.)

 

E-mail:

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

 

This is a general introductory survey course that explores various genres by Native American authors, including biography, fiction, non-fiction, and critical essays. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical eye toward Native literature as depicted by non-Indians and to look under the surface for hidden socioeconomic messages in fiction. Students will be asked to evaluate past and present expectations of Native American literature and encouraged to develop an understanding for new forms of more aggressive fiction and non-fiction that are becoming more commonplace.

 

 

CLASS EXPECTATIONS AND GRADING POLICY

 

Attendance will be taken! Students are expected to attend class prepared and to participate in discussions and activities. It is recommended that students find class "buddies" upon whom they can depend for notes, handouts, and other materials. If one is legitimately absent, please contact the instructor for handouts and a summary of material one is expected to understand. The ultimate goal is for you to learn as much as possible and to grow through this course. I want you to be excited about these materials and topics. No one is expected to agree with or to mimic the instructor. It is hoped that you will form your own opinions about contemporary Native American literature and the options that are available to today's readers.

 

Grades will be dependent upon three factors:  attendance and participation (40 %), completion and quality of assignments (40 %), and a written final exam (20 %). The format of the exam will be determined later in the semester, based upon student direction and response to materials and topics.


Eng. 291-E

 

NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE

 

Lois Beardslee, Spring 2007

 

BOOKS REQUIRED FOR CLASS

 

 

Gansworth, Eric. NICKEL ECLIPSE, IROQUOIS MOON. Michigan State University Press (East Lansing:  2000).

 

Hernandez-Avila, Ines, ed. READING NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN, Critical/Creative Representation. AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA:  2005).

 

King, Thomas. ONE GOOD STORY, THAT ONE. Harper Collins (Toronto:  1993).

 

Mihesuah, Devon Abbott. INDIGENOUS AMERICAN WOMEN, Decolonization, Empowerment, Activism. University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln:  2003).

 

Razor, Peter. WHILE THE LOCUST SLEPT. Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul, MN:  2001).

 

Seale, Doris and Beverly Slapin, eds. A BROKEN FLUTE, The Native Experience in Books for Children. AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA:  2005).

 

Sterling, Shirley. MY NAME IS SEEPEETZA. House of Anansi Press (Toronto:  1992).

 

Zapeda, Ofelia. OCEAN POWER, Poems from the Desert. The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  1995).


 

 

NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE

Lois Beardslee, Spring 2007

 

SYLLABUS

 

 

WEEK 1 (Friday, January 19)

 

Introduction to class, assignments, and expectations.

 

Explore students' ideas about Native American literature and Native American culture.

            Readings by instructor from Owens, OTHER DESTINIES and LeBeau, RE-THINKING MICHIGAN INDIAN HISTORY.

           Explore ideas about identity and authenticity.

            Explore ideas about stereotypes.

 

Small group hands-on exploration/discussion/comparison of children’s literature about Native Americans by both Indian and non-Indian authors.

 

Listen to introductory episode of CBC's “Dead Dog Caf‚” by Thomas King.

 

Instructor will lecture, lead discussion on history of Native American novel.

 

Take home handouts for next week:

"Promulgation of Damaging Ethnic Stereotypes as a Cottage Industry in Northern Michigan" Lois Beardslee.

 

"Book Review:  The Legend of the Petoskey Stone" Lois Beardslee.

 

"Something the White Man Named," excerpted from:  Vizenor, Gerald. THE EVERLASTING SKY, Voices of the Anishinabe People. Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul, MN:  2000):  14-26.

 

"Bibliography of American Indian Novels," excerpted from:  Owens, Louis. OTHER DESTINIES, Understanding the American Indian Novel. University of Oklahoma Press (Norman:  1992):  283-285. (For reference only.)

 

 

 

WEEK 2 (Friday, January 26)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  A BROKEN FLUTE:  PP. 1-27; 35-52; 110-111; 118-119; 128-131.

 

Handouts:

"Promulgation of Damaging Ethnic Stereotypes as a Cottage Industry in Northern Michigan" Lois Beardslee.

 

"Book Review:  The Legend of the Petoskey Stone" Lois Beardslee.

 

"Something the White Man Named," excerpted from:  Vizenor, Gerald. THE EVERLASTING SKY, Voices of the Anishinabe People. Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul, MN:  2000):  14-26.

 

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion.

 

 

WEEK 3 (Friday, February 2)

 

Pre-class assignments:

Reading:  A BROKEN FLUTE:  209-211 (Take Two Coyote Stories… Bruchac on appropriation); 152-154 (Dreamcatchers, Kokopelli); 158-69 (Goble).

 

Review/skim/ read at your leisure the section "Authors A-Z."

            Select at least two children's books to read and review yourself--one by a Native American author, one by a non-Indian. Order them through inter-library loan. Be prepared to turn in the titles by the end of the class period. (Books do not have to be listed in A BROKEN FLUTE.) You will eventually write a 2-3 page comparison of these two books, due by the 6th week of class (February 23).

 

Be prepared to generally discuss reviews in "Authors A-Z" in class.

 

Go to your local libraries and at least one bookstore. Look for books by Native authors or that purport to represent Native culture. Especially be on the lookout for regional titles.

Take notes on what is available, by whom, and ease or difficulty of finding materials. Summarize your findings and discuss your impressions of the impact of such literature on a community's expectations and cultural/socioeconomic interaction. Be prepared to turn in this summary in at least 2 typewritten pages by the beginning of class.

 

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion.

 

Take home handout for next week:  excerpted from:  Power, Susan, THE GRASS DANCER G.P. Putnam's Sons <Penguin> (New York:  2004):  3-7.

 

 

Week 4 (Friday, February 9)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  Maria Campbell, STORIES OF THE ROAD ALLOWANCE PEOPLE. (THIS BOOK IS ON RESERVE AT THE COLLEGE LIBRARY.)

 

A BROKEN FLUTE:  245 (Campbell reviews).

 

Handout:  Power, Susan, THE GRASS DANCER. G.P. Putnam's Sons <Penguin> (New York:  2004):  3-7.

 

Zepeda, Ofelia, OCEAN POWER, Poems From the Desert, The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  1995):  1-20.

 

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion. Videotape:  "On and Off the Rez with Charlie Hill"

 

 

Week 5 (Friday, February 16)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  Zepeda, Ofelia, OCEAN POWER, Poems From the Desert, The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  1995):  21-39.

 

Devon Mihesua, INDIGENOUS AMERICAN WOMEN:  62-80, Ch. 7, "Culturalism and Racism at the Cherokee Female Seminary."

 

Thomas King, ONE GOOD STORY, THAT ONE.

 

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion. Oral readings by instructor.

 

Take home handouts for next week:  "Lizbeth and the Madstone," excerpted from:  Tingle, Tim. WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD, Cinco Punto Press (El Paso:  2003):  99-108.

 

"The Baron of Patronia," excerpted from:  Vizenor, Gerald. THE TRICKSTER OF LIBERTY, Native Heirs to a Wild Baronage. University of Oklahoma Press (Norman:  2005):  3-19.

 

 

Week 6 (Friday, February 23)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  Zepeda, Ofelia, OCEAN POWER, Poems From the Desert, The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  1995):  40-46.

 

Handouts: "Lizbeth and the Madstone," excerpted from:  Tingle, Tim. WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD, Cinco Punto Press (El Paso:  2003):  99-108.

 

 "The Baron of Patronia," excerpted from:  Vizenor, Gerald. THE TRICKSTER OF LIBERTY, Native Heirs to a Wild Baronage. University of Oklahoma Press (Norman:  2005):  3-19.

 

 "Lesson the First," excerpted from:  LeBeau, Patrick Russell. Re-Thinking Michigan Indian History. Michigan State University Press (East Lansing:  2005):  21-38. THIS BOOK IS ON RESERVE IN THE LIBRARY.

 

A BROKEN FLUTE:  152-154 (…First Thanksgiving…).

 

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. "Whispering Tree" audio (sandwich song, "Father in a Bottle"). Group discussion.

 

 

Week 7 (Friday, March 2)

 

Pre-class reading assignment:  Eric Gansworth, NICKEL ECLIPSE, IROQUOIS MOON.

 

In class:  video:  "Voices from Texas." Group discussion.

 

Take home handout for next week:  "Anne Boans, Ph.D." excerpted from:  Gansworth, Eric. MENDING SKINS, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln:  2005):  5-10.

 

 

Week 8 (Friday, March 9)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  Tsinhnahjinnie, Hulleah J. "Photographic Memoirs of an Aboriginal Savant:  Living on Occupied Land." In Hernandez-Avila, READING NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN:  129-144.

 

Mihesua, Devon Abbot, INDIGENOUS AMERICAN WOMEN. University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln:  2003):  81-112.

 

Handout:  "Anne Boans, Ph.D." excerpted from:  Gansworth, Eric. MENDING SKINS, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln:  2005):  5-10.

 

Zepeda, Ofelia, OCEAN POWER, Poems From the Desert, The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  1995):  50-51; 54-56, 61-62; 69-70; 85-89.

 

 

In class:  Students will discuss comparison papers due this week.

 

Students will be given in-class time to compose/submit an anonymous paragraph evaluating the direction and content of this class so far, express desire for content, format, assignments, etc.

 

"Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion.

 

In-class video:  Leslie Silko video from NMC collection.

 

Take home handout for next week:  Beardslee, Lois, "Baby Stealers (By Prejudice)," excerpted from:  DA WIMEN'S WARRIOR SOCIETY. The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  2008—in production).

 

 

Week 9 (Friday, March 16)

 

Pre-class reading assignment:  READING NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN:  107-127, CH. 7, 'Native InFormation," by Barker and Teaiwa.; 189-202, Ch. 11, "The Trick is Going Home" by Dunn.

 

Mihesuah, Devon Abbott, INDIGENOUS AMERICAN WOMEN. University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln:  2003):  14-28; 46-41.

 

Handout:  Beardslee, Lois, "Baby Stealers (By Prejudice)," excerpted from:  DA WIMEN'S WARRIOR SOCIETY. The University of Arizona Press (Tucson:  2008--in production).

 

Assignment:  Take notes on stereotypes about Indians in your environment, e.g. TV, food labels, road signs, product/location names… Turn in at least two paragraphs on this subject. Be prepared to discuss in class. Feel free to bring in examples…

 

Take home handout:  "Venn Diagrams, We Are a Subset of America," excerpted from:  Beardslee, Lois, NOT FAR AWAY, The Real Life Adventures of Ima Pipiig. AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA, 2007).

 

 

Week 10 (Friday, March 23)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  Mihesuah, INDIGENOUS AMERICAN WOMEN:  143-171.

 

A BROKEN FLUTE:  196-200.

 

Handout:  "Venn Diagrams, We Are a Subset of America," excerpted from:  Beardslee, Lois, NOT FAR AWAY, The Real Life Adventures of Ima Pipiig. AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA, 2007).

 

Assignment:  Select one tangible object that might be interpreted as an "artifact" of your home/cultural life. Write at least one paragraph describing this object and its relevance to your life/family/culture. Be prepared to bring the object (or a photo or other facsimile) into class and to give a brief oral presentation to the class. Typed artifact essay due by the end of class.

 

In class:  Half Breed Blues” audio. Hands-on project utilizing THE CAUCASIAN-AMERICAN WORKBOOK (handouts provided). Group discussion.

 

Take home handouts:  Beardslee, Lois, "The Lore of the Turtle" and "Book Reviews," excerpted from:  NOT FAR AWAY:  223-233.

 

Various pages excerpted from Slapin, Beverly and Doris Seale, THROUGH INDIAN EYES, American Indian Studies Center, University of California (Los Angeles:  1998).

 

 

Week 11 (Friday, March 30)

 

Pre-class reading assignment:

Handout:  Beardslee, Lois, "The Lore of the Turtle" and "Book Reviews," excerpted from:  NOT FAR AWAY:  223-233.

 

Various pages excerpted from Slapin, Beverly and Doris Seale, THROUGH INDIAN EYES, American Indian Studies Center, University of California (Los Angeles:  1998).

 

 

Assignment:  Go through the footnotes and bibliographies in the essays in READING  NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN and INDIGENOUS AMERICAN WOMEN. You might also like to look at Owen’s list of American Indian novels passed out at the beginning of class. Pay particular attention to publishers and periodicals that publish Native American authors and other minorities. If you were a Native American author, where would you most likely go to have a book or article published? How would content affect your availability of outlets? What impact does the publishing industry have on availability of literature and society’s expectations? Write at least one full page on this topic, due at the beginning of class.

 

In-class:  Alanis Obomsawin, "Bush Lady" audio. Group discussion.

 

Take home handout for next class after break:  "Tony Byars," excerpted from:  Tingle, Tim. WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD. Cinco Puntos Press (el Paso:  2003): 109-117.

 

 

*** FRIDAY, APRIL 6—NO CLASS—SPRING BREAK!!!***

 

 

Week 12 (Friday, April 13)

 

Pre-class reading assignment:  Handout:  "Tony Byars," excerpted from:  Tingle, Tim. WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD. Cinco Puntos Press (el Paso:  2003): 109-117.

 

Razor, Peter. WHILE THE LOCUST SLEPT.

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion.

Oral readings by instructor:  "Affirmative Action," excerpted from:  SUPERIOR MYTHS, unpublished manuscript by Lois Beardslee.

 

Take home handout:  Beardslee, Lois, "Indian Boarding School," "Falcon Clan Meets Indian Boarding School," and "Gambling for Dollars," excerpted from:  NOT FAR AWAY, The Real Life Adventures of Ima Pipiig:  34; 75-78; 396-411

 

 

 

Week 13 (Friday, April 20)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  A BROKEN FLUTE:  72-85 (Reviews of Books about Boarding Schools); 100-101 (Deb Miranda, "Stories I Tell My Daughter"); 103 (Reva Mariah S. Gover, "Woman Stories"); 389-390 (Skolnick review).

 

Handout:  Beardslee, Lois, "Indian Boarding School," "Falcon Clan Meets Indian Boarding School," and "Gambling for Dollars," excerpted from:  NOT FAR AWAY, The Real Life Adventures of Ima Pipiig:  34; 75-78; 396-411.

 

In class:  "Richard Cardinal"--film by Alanis Obomsawin about Native child in foster care.

 

Small-group discussion on childhood recollections of a student who was "different" at school--why? Be prepared to discuss broad ranges of diversity in our culture/educational settings.

 

Oral readings by instructor:  Ch. 28 "Boys Will Be Boys" and Ch.31 "The Windigoog"), excerpted from: Beardslee, Lois. RACHEL'S CHILDREN. AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA:  2004):  129-132; 141-144.

 

 

 

Week 14 (Friday, April 20)

 

Pre-class reading assignments:  Sterling, Shirley. MY NAME IS SEEPEETZA. House of Anansi Press (Toronto:  1994).

 

In class:  "Dead Dog Caf‚" audio. Group discussion.

 

Review/prepare for final exam.

 

 

Week 15 (Friday, May 4)

 

FINAL EXAM. Don't worry, you'll do great. It'll be fun. It'll be cathartic.


English 291-E  S/T

 

NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE

 

EXTRA ACTIVITIES FOR HONORS CREDIT

 

Please select two books by Native authors to read and review--one for older children or adolescents, and one for adults. Compare and contrast both books to materials covered in class. Describe how reading each of these books might influence your life as a parent, educator, or community member. You may write two separate essays or combine them into one; however, if you combine them, you must have a good reason for doing so--same culture-base, same genre, same/opposing topics, etc.