Fall, 2009                                                                              Dr. Susan Brill de Ramˇrez

ENG 330.01                                                                            Bradley Hall 393; 677-3888

TT 1:30-2:45 p.m.                                                                brill@bumail.bradley.edu

English Dept. 677-2490                                                        Office hours: TT 11:00-11:45 a.m.,

          and by appt.




Simon J. Ortiz and Leslie Marmon Silko


          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 American 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:


Brill de Ramírez, Susan Berry, and Evelina Zuni Lucero, eds.  Simon J. Ortiz: A Poetic Legacy of Indigenous Continuance.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009.

Ortiz, Simon J.  After and Before the Lightning.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994.

---.  from Sand Creek.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2000.  Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1981.

---.  Woven Stone.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992. 

Silko, Leslie Marmon.  Ceremony.  New York: Penguin, 1977, 2006.

---.  Gardens in the Dunes.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

---.  Storyteller.  New York: Arcade, 1981.


Course Requirements and Grading:


Midterm exam (Sept 29)                  30%             

Term paper (Dec 8)                          40%             

Final exam (Dec 14)                          30%             

Attendance/participation                5% 

[This portion of your grade is extra credit.  It is an all or nothing opportunity that can be earned through high level and consistent class preparation and participation.  Those students who (1) attend all of the class sessions (one absence permitted), (2) demonstrate to the professor during each class period that they are wholly prepared for class, and (3) participate actively in the class learning session with a positive attitude that contributes to the learning community of the whole class will receive 5% extra credit.]



Fall Term Schedule of Readings


Aug 27            Introduction to course


Sept 1            Storyteller (1-110, 269-271)

Sept 3            Storyteller (111-177, 271-272)


Sept 8             Storyteller (177-268, 272-274)

Sept 10          Surviving Columbus, part I; Woven Stone (22-30); Ortiz: Legacy (2-25)


Sept 15          Woven Stone (149-232); Ortiz: Legacy (213-219, 323-338)

Sept 17          Woven Stone (233-283); Ortiz: Legacy (367-388)


Sept 22          Review of Storyteller, A Good Journey and Surviving Columbus, part I; Ortiz: Legacy (147-155, 173-176); receive midterm exam study guide

Sept 24          Surviving Columbus, part II; Woven Stone (30-33); Ortiz: Legacy (125-146)


Sept 29          Ceremony (xi-xxiii, 1-92); Midterm take-home exams due

Oct 1              Ceremony (92-142)


Oct 6            Ceremony (142-244)

Oct 8             from Sand Creek; Ortiz: Legacy (226-228, 232-245)


Oct 13            Fall Recess

Oct 15             Woven Stone (30-33, 285-365); Ortiz: Legacy (86-94, 190-192; 213-215, 228-230, 287-313, 361-366)


Oct 20            Review of Ceremony, from Sand Creek, and Fight Back

Oct 22            Woven Stone (3-22, 37-60); Ortiz: Legacy (75-85, 95-105, 177-182, 219-222)


Oct 27            Woven Stone (61-118); Ortiz: Legacy (25-52, 156-167, 222-226)

Oct 29             Woven Stone (119-147); Ortiz: Legacy (170-171, 205-212)


Nov 3           Ortiz: Legacy (106-124); Review of Going for the Rain and all of Woven Stone

Nov 5              Gardens in the Dunes, Part 1


Nov 10            Gardens in the Dunes, Parts 2 - 4

Nov 12            Gardens in the Dunes, Parts 5 & 6


Nov 17            Gardens in the Dunes, Parts 7 - 9

Nov 19            Gardens in the Dunes, Part 10


Nov 24            Finish Gardens in the Dunes; Ortiz: Legacy (246-263)

Nov 26            Thanksgiving Recess


Dec 1             After and Before the Lightning

Dec 3              Review of Gardens in the Dunes and After and Before the Lightning


Dec 8              semester review, final exam preparation; term papers due


Final Exam Period               Monday, 14 Dec. 2009          2:30-4:30 p.m.          BR 259