NAS 3850a

The Five Hundred Year War:  History of Genocide, Resistance & Revolution in the Americas

T/TH 10:50-12:05 UH C630

Instructor: Dr. Kimberly Roppolo

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Tisha Bromley-Wadsworth

Office phone:  403-394-3956

Departmental fax:  403-380-1855




Course Description:  Students will research and analyze Indigenous efforts to resist and revolt against colonialism within the context of the history of genocide in the Americas.



Ronald Wright, Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas

Rigoberta Menchu, I, Rigoberta Menchu

Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead


Additional readings will come from research for the Double-Entry Journal Project, the Oral Presentation, and the Research Paper.



Motorcycle Diaries


Assignments:  This course will be reading intensive and heavily-dependent on class participation and discussion. In addition what we gather from the readings, we will hopefully learn from guest-speakers this semester as well with first-hand knowledge of Native activism to share their insights with us.


There will be quizzes over the assigned reading material, as well as the films and any speakers, in order to encourage you to both read and come to class. These will count 25% of your grade.


You will keep all semester (starting today) a journal formatted as a Double-Entry Journal (a template for this has been mailed to the class list -- make sure to read the comments attached as they have instructions in them). These journals will be turned in at the end of the semester, on the last day of class, December 6, 2007, at the beginning of class time, NO EXCEPTIONS. This will count as 25% of your grade.


You will do an oral presentation focusing on one particular revolutionary leader, incident, or movement, accompanied by a Power Point with visual aids whenever applicable and handouts for the class. This presentation should last about 15-20 minutes (practice and time yourself). This will count 25% of your grade.


You will write a 15-25 page research paper, further developing your work on the particular revolutionary leader, incident, or movement on which you presented. This will count 25% of your grade. THIS WILL BE DUE NOVEMBER 1 AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS AND SHOULD BE TYPED 12 PT COURIER FONT, DOUBLE-SPACED, IN MLA FORMAT.



Policies and other important information

     Office hours -- I will be in my office in the Native American Studies Department on the fourth floor of University Hall from 8:20-9:20 on most Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 12:15-1:15 on most Tuesdays in case you need to meet with me regarding class.  I will also meet with you in my office by appointment.

     Absents and tardies --

--       Even though the 2007-08 Calendar does not list an attendance requirement for this course, since the success the course is dependent upon your doing your readings and attending class and discussing the texts, to do my job well, I have to find some way to ensure that you do this. Therefore, I have created the strict Late Work policy listed below.

--       Out of courtesy and professionalism, please treat this course the way you would treat a job.  Let me know as soon as possible if you must miss class.  You may contact me by phone or e-mail (listed above).

     Late Work --

--       Always keep two back up copies of your written work (at least one electronic:  on your hard drive, a disk, a CD, etc.)  I find that if you just save once, problems can occur that will cause assignments to be late.  Make sure you have alternate methods of recovering your data if confusion should arise or whether or not you turned in an assignment, in case you lose your backpack on the way to class, in case your dog ate your homework, etc. 

--       It is important to know that quizzes may not be made up, whether or not you are absent, with or without an excuse.

--       I will not accept late Oral Presentations, Research Papers, or Journals.  Failure to turn these in on time results in failure of the course unless the Dean has approved an incomplete (see below) through the proper application process.

     Incompletes:  from the 2004-05 Calendar --

     Special needs:  from the 2007-08 Calendar --

For more information and possible assistance with these matters, contact Counselling at tel. 403-320-5700 or come to the Information Centre (SU 140).

     Academic and non-Academic Offenses:  from the 2007-08 Calendar -- There is an extensive section in the Calendar on pages 68-74 regarding cheating, plagiarism, student conduct, and disciplinary procedures, including expulsion.  All U of L students should familiarize themselves with these regulations and penalties.


     Grade Percentages:

*Please note that I give letter grades, not number grades, on individual assignments.  The conversion chart for the 4.0 scale reporting system is below.

Grading Scale:

A +/A 4.0

A- 3.7

B+ 3.3

B 3.0

C+ 2.3

C 2.0

C- 1.7

D+ 1.3

D 1

F 0


Tentative Schedule:

*Note:  Do the readings listed for the class meeting before class.  In other words, what is listed is what we are discussing that day. For the novels, divide the number of pages in the novels by the number of days we are covering the book in class and read accordingly. Remember, there is no exam, but there will be quizzes over the readings regularly.  Keep up. During Oral Presentations, critique forms will take the place of quiz grades.  You can bring up your quiz average by attending class, listening carefully, and responding to your peers.


September 6 -- Ms. Bromley-Wadsworth will take roll, hand out the syllabus, and make the first assignment. Students should make a list of questions for Dr. Roppolo regarding the syllabus as they read over it at home.  We will answer these the next time we meet.  Also do the following:

Divide up the topic list I sent in e-mail to all of you by the number of people who are enrolled in the class.  Each of you will take that many terms for homework (more in a bit on that), going down the roll sheet alphabetically.  In other words, if there are 17 of you and 45 terms, then each of you will cover 3 terms for homework. Ms. Wadsworth will assign anyone whose name is on the roll but not present the first day three terms as well.

For homework, do some preliminary research about each term on the internet, making an entry in your double-entry journal for each source you look at, at least one per term, more if you need to in order to prepare to discuss each term you looked up briefly (one-to-three minutes of talking) in class. You may also add terms to the list and your journals that you think we need to include in the course and give us a brief overview of those.

September 11 -- Dr. Roppolo will give general overview of topic and course. Go over terms from homework in class so that each person can get ideas for presentations/research paper topics. Draw for oral presentation dates. Continue researching your topic and taking notes in your journal as you prepare. 

September 13 -- Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, pages vii-63

Note: You should make a double-entry journal document for each of the textbooks (this one as well as the two novels when we get to them), taking notes as you read.  While you won't likely use these entries in writing your research paper or preparing your presentation, doing this will improve your comprehension and retention of knowledge.  Plus, you get a grade for your journal.

September 18 -- Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, pages 64-140

September 20 -- Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, pages 143-199

September 25 -- Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, pages 200-238

September 27 -- Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, pages 241-291

October 2 -- Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, pages 292-354

October 4 -- Oral presentations

October 9 -- Oral presentations

October 11 -- Oral presentations

October 16 -- Oral presentations

October 18 -- Oral presentations

October 25 -- Oral presentations

October 30 -- The Motorcycle Diaries (in class viewing of film)

November 1 -- The Motorcycle Diaries (in class viewing of film)


November 6 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 8 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 13 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 15 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 20 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 22 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 27 -- Almanac of the Dead

November 29 -- I, Rigoberta Menchu

December 6 -- I, Rigoberta Menchu



You are responsible for all assignments as noted on the syllabus and assignment sheets, including any additions or deletions I may make.