Spring term, 2009 Professor Susan Brill de Ramírez
ENG 130.01 Bradley 393; 677-3888
TT 10:30-11:45 BR 222 email@example.com
English Dept. 677-2490 Office hours: TT 4:15-5:00 p.m.;
and by appt.
INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURES
What is the relationship between human persons and stories? What is the relationship between oral storytelling and written literature? Why do we read literatures and tell and listen to stories? This semester, we will be looking at our relationships to stories (oral, written, lived) through the lens of contemporary Native American literatures.
In our investigations into Native American literatures, we will explore issues of great relevance to the problems, struggles, and achievements of peoples around the world. We cannot begin to understand Native literatures without addressing the painful histories of colonization, European and Euro-American empire building, racism, and Manifest Destiny, along with the attendant themes of survivance, endurance, indigenous sovereignty, and the re-indigenization of North America.
The assigned readings address many of the issues crucial to Native peoples today: education, health care, alcoholism, diabetes, economic self-sufficiency, tribal sovereignty, tribal history, representations of American Indians in the media, Indian mascots and athletic team names, and NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act).
Texts for the class:
True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Conley, Robert J. Mountain
Windsong: A Novel of the Trail of Tears.
Ortiz, Simon J. Woven Stone.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony.
Van Camp, Richard. The
Wallis, Velma. Two Old
Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival.
Course Requirements and Grading:
Midterm exam 25% Attendance portion of grade:
Final exam 25% no absences=A+; 1 = A-;
Group presentations 25% 2 absences = B+; 3 = C+;
Attendance/participation 25% 4 absences = F (2 wks missed)
Spring Term Schedule of
Jan 22 Introduction to course; preview Smoke Signals
Jan 27 Complete viewing of the film Smoke Signals
Jan 29 Mountain Windsong (1-84)
Feb 3 Mountain Windsong (85-174)
Feb 5 Mountain Windsong (175-218)
Feb 10 Surviving Columbus (part 1)
Feb 12 Ceremony (1-54)
Feb 17 Ceremony (55-102)
Feb 19 Ceremony (102-153)
Feb 24 Ceremony (153-213)
Feb 26 Ceremony (214-262)
Mar 3 Ceremony review; receive midterm exam study questions
Mar 5 Midterm exam review
Mar 12 Midterm exam
Mar 16-20 Spring Break
Mar 24 Film viewing of Skins (please try to arrive 15 minutes early)
Mar 26 Woven Stone (3-60)
Mar 31 Woven Stone (61-147)
Apr 2 Woven Stone (149-213)
Apr 7 Woven Stone (215-283)
Apr 9 Woven Stone (285-334)
Apr 14 Woven Stone review (335-365)
Apr 16 Absolutely True Diary (1-129)
Apr 21 Absolutely True Diary (130-230); introduction to The Lesser Blessed
Apr 23 The Lesser Blessed
Apr 28 Viewing of The Return of Navajo Boy
Apr 30 Two Old Women
May 5 semester review, final exam preparation
Final Exam Period--viewing of Naturally Native
CLASS POLICIES: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
1. This term, we will be creating a learning community in this class. This means that each student's active involvement is crucial to the success of everyone's learning. Accordingly, regular attendance and thoughtful participation are highly recommended.
2. Please understand that your active participation demonstrates to me your own learning and growth during the semester, and, more importantly, your participation deepens your own learning and assists others in their learning process, too. In this class, each student bears the fundamental responsibility for her or his own learning . . . and also for the more developed learning of every other student in the class.
3. Class attendance and participation is one‑fourth of your grade; also note that I do not differentiate between excused or unexcused absences.
5. Being prepared for class is a crucial part of your participation. I will be reviewing each student's active participation during class periods. You can expect to be called on in class. I will expect that you are prepared for class‑‑having done the assigned reading and having thought about the reading before coming to class. Most classes will begin with a short quiz on the assigned readings for that week.
6. There will be a midterm exam and the final take-home term paper. Your semester grade will be based on the midterm, final term paper, in-class group presentations, and class attendance and participation. Each of these four grades will be weighted in your final overall course grade, as noted on the first page of your syllabus. Note that since the quizzes are optional, your averaged quiz grade will count as extra credit.
7. You will have the opportunity to work in groups to help deepen your learning and class discussion. Twice during the term, your group will have assigned in-class presentations. One of your guided class presentations will be focused on Woven Stone, the other on either The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Lesser Blessed or Two Old Women. For this assignment, each group will craft 3-4 questions for class discussion and will present a short interpretive response to the assigned reading. At a group meeting, at least 24 hours prior to the presentation due date, your interpretive response and discussion questions are to be submitted to your professor for review.
8. Please note that if your grade is on the border between two grades at the end of the semester, I will evaluate your work throughout the semester (written and oral; in‑class and out‑of‑class work) to decide which grade level is appropriate for your overall semester grade.