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Dr. Jesse Peters
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone: 910.521.6635

Location: Dial 260 A
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English 2200: Survey of Native American Literature (HONORS)

Instructor: Dr. Jesse Peters
Office: Old Main 204
Office Hours: TR 1:00-2:00; And by Appointment (email)
Phone: 521-6635 ; 521-6195

Required Texts:

Nothing But the Truth, John Purdy and James Ruppert
Night Sky, Morning Star, Evelina Lucero
Faces in the Moon , Betty Bell
Wolfsong, Louis Owens 

Course Requirements:

The course is designed to expose students to significant voices in Native American literature. Obviously, we can't cover all of this literature or even everything contained within the anthology we are using. Our goal is to study a sampling of texts within Native American literature as we work towards an understanding of how this literature has developed and evolved. We will be paying particular attention to the ways in which Indian authors write within, outside of, and against the dominant canon of literature. Some of the questions we will be asking are: Who is an Indian? What is Native American literature? How does Indian literature relate to American literature in general? One of the main objectives of this class is to help students see how the study of literature both informs and is informed by all other aspects of a general college education. The course demands a lot of reading, and I expect material to be read before discussions begin for that material. Please plan to discuss the material extensively in class because I don’t expect to do all the talking. Remember, we are all here to explore ideas and figure out what we think. There will also be two longer papers (4-6 pages), two response essays, a midterm and a final. The longer papers must incorporate outside sources and must be written on the literature that we cover in this course. The final will be cumulative.

Note: Please refer to the ETL department’s website for departmental guidelines and plagiarism policy ( It is up to you, especially since you have passed English 106 or an equivalent before being allowed to take this course, to know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. If you are caught plagiarizing, you will fail the course and will be reported to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Note: Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services (Career Services Center, Room 210, 521-6270) and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential.

For Education Students: This course relates to UNCP Teacher Education Standard #1. The class helps the teacher candidate to command essential knowledge and understandings of the academic discipline (in this case, the study of literature) from which school subject matter is derived and integrate that knowledge into personally meaningful frameworks.


Responses 200 pts. 20%
Paper 1 100 pts. 10%
Midterm 300 pts. 30%
Paper 2 100 pts. 10%
Final 300 pts. 30%
Total  1000 pts. 100%

I use a thousand point grading system. All grades will be given as numbers with final grades computed as follows: A=933-1000; A-=900-932; B+=866-899; B=833-865; B-=800-832; C+=766-799; C=733-765; C-=700-732; D+=666-699; D=633-665; D-=600-632; F=<600.

Please take heed of the following:

• Attendance is mandatory. I will take attendance most days. If you disappear for more than two weeks of class for any reason, I may assign you a grade of F for the course. Please let me know in advance if you will be absent (if at all possible). You are also responsible for any information you miss if you are absent.
• I do not accept late assignments for any reason without my prior consent. I’m usually more than willing to help you out, but you must talk to me beforehand. I have voicemail and email. Late papers will receive a 0 grade.
• If you need to talk to me, please take advantage of my online office hours or email me. I am also more than willing to meet by appointment.
• I may be giving pop quizzes throughout the semester, so be sure and do the reading. Quizzes cannot be made up. I expect a lot of class participation during the course and will give quizzes only if it seems there is litle participation or that students are not reading the material.
• Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. If behavior like this persists, you will be asked to leave the class and receive a grade of F for the course.

* There will be no work for "extra credit." Keep up with the reading and do the work

All reading assignments should be completed by the first day that we begin discussion.

Note: Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services (Career Services Center, Room 210, 521-6270) and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential.

Discussion Board

Sometimes the communication in the course will take place on the discussion board. On those weeks, I will set up a forum so that we can discuss the readings. I will usually post a brief comment or two and pose a few questions. Remember that this is merely a way of getting you started thinking about the material. You are free to start posts yourself on aspects of the works you find interesting. The point here is for us to have good conversations about the material as we address both structure and content.

If you start a thread, please give it a title that helps us understand what the topic will be. This will help each of you study for exams. A title like "Environment in Momaday's Essay" is a lot beter than "Momaday."

Rather than replying to my initial post, it is probably better if you bigin your own or reply to another student's. Failure to actively participate on Blackboard wil result in an absence.

I also suggest you read the discussion board guidelines available in the course documents section of Blackboard.


Although you are asked to do two papers for this course, you will turn in the same paper twice. The first time it is due, I will grade it and comment extensively. You should use my suggestions and advice to improve the paper, in both form and content, before it is turned in to me the second time. These papers must be 4-6 typed, double spaced pages and they must use at least three secondary critical sources as evidence. These papers are not reports. You need to come up with a thesis statement about a work of literature we cover in the course and then explain your point through careful analysis of the text while blending in outside sources. The scholarly articles you will find as you do research should serve as examples of the types of writing I am looking for. Also, the campus publication ReVisions contains good examples of student writing about literature. I encourage you to run your proposed topic/thesis statement by me before you begin work. If you do not revise your paper, you will receive a lower grade than you did on it the first time. Revision is part of the assignment.

Response Essays

Two times during the semester, you will turn in a 2-3 page response essay on a work we will cover. These short writings should be well developed articulations/explanations of what issues and or themes you see the writer developing in the work. They are not summaries. Explain why you think what you do through examples from the text, examples that you explain. These papers do not have to include outside sources. Each essay will be worth a possible 50 pts. You must write the response before we discuss the work on the discussion board; your writing will help us extend the discussion of that work of literature. Please bring in the response essay on the day we will start to discuss the work you wrote about; you will be asked to read the essay out loud in class as a way to help us begin our discussion. There will be no specific due dates for these. However, there will be two deadlines, one for the first and one for the second. I do not want a flood of response essays on the deadline days. I encourage you to do them sooner rather than later. / Digital DropBox

Papers and response essays must be submited to Instructions for submitting these documents can be found in the Blackboard course site under the Assignments button. This site checks for any plagiarism in your essays. You will also submit a version of the essay in Word or RTF to the digital dropbox within the course site. Both submissions must be made by the deadlines provided. Note that response essays will be 1) submitted to 2) submitted to the digital dropbox and 3) submitted to me in hard copy.

Midterm and Final

The midterm and final will consist of identification (I give you a quote and you supply author, title, character, and significance), short answer, and essay. When providing the significance of a passage, be sure to explain what the quotation tells us about the theme or the message of the work.


Course Schedule (Always Subject to Change)

Dates Reflect the Monday of the Week. All reading should be completed by Monday.

19 Introduction to course

25 Introduction (5-15) "The Man Made of Words" N. Scott Momaday


27 "The American Indian Fiction Writers: Cosmopolitan, Nationalism, the Third World, and First Nation Sovereignty" Elizabeth Cook-Lynn


1 "Towards a National Indian Literature: Cultural Authenticity in Nationalism" Simon J. Ortiz

Short Fiction

3 Introduction (190-193) "The Approximate Size of My Favorite Tumor" & "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix Arizona" Sherman Alexie

8 "The Red Convertible" Louise Erdrich; "Sleeping in Rain" Gordon Henry

15 "Aunt Moon's Young Man" Linda Hogan; "The Hawk is Hungry" D'Arcy McNickle

17 "Report to the Nation: Repossessing Europe" Carter Revard; "How I Got to be Queen" Greg Sarris

22 "All the Colors of Sunset" Luci Tapahonso; "The Warriors" Anna Lee Walters


24 Introduction (412-415) "13/16", "The Business of Fancydancing", "How to Write the Great American Indian Novel", "Crazy Horse Speaks" Sherman Alexie

29 "Living History", "Rewriting Your Life", "Rituals, Yours--and Mine", "Where I Was That Day" Kimberly Bleaser; "The Old Man's Lazy", "Rattle, "Turtle", "Drum", "Reflections on Milkweed" Peter Blue Cloud


1 Deadline for Response Statement #1; "She Had Some Horses", "Transformations", "I Give You Back", "Call It Fear", "Eagle Poem", "The Woman Hanging From the Thirteenth Floor Window", Joy Harjo

6 "Blessing", "Song For My Name", "Bamboo", "Celebration: Birth of a Colt", "Drought", "The New Apartment, Minneapolis", "The Truth Is", "Elk Song", "Geraniums", "Heritage", "Morning: The World in the Lake" Linda Hogan

8 Midterm Exam

13 "Bend in the River", "The Creation, According to Coyote", "My Father's Song", "A Story of How a Wall Stands" Simon J. Ortiz; "And Don't Be Deaf to the Singing Beyond", "Driving in Oklahoma", "In Kansas", "And Eagle Nation" Carter Revard

15 Spring Break -- No Class

20 "In Praise of Texas", "Light a Candle", "Raisin Eyes" Luci Tapahonso; "Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat", "Surviving", "Thanksgiving at Snake Butte", "Snow Country Weavers", "Riding the Earthboy 40" James Welch

22 Discussion of Long Essay

The Novel

27 Night Sky, Morning Star, Evelina Lucero

29 Discussion on Blackboard; Night Sky, Morning Star, Evelina Lucero


3 Night Sky, Morning Star, Evelina Lucero

5 Night Sky, Morning Star, Evelina Lucero

10 Paper # 1 Due, Wolfsong, Louis Owens

12 Wolfsong, Louis Owens; Deadline for Response Statement #2

17 Wolfsong, Louis Owens

19 Wolfsong, Louis Owens

24 Faces in the Moon, Betty Bell


1 Faces in the Moon, Betty Bell

3 Paper #2 Due; Faces in the Moon, Betty Bell

10 Final Examination 10:45-1:15

This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services, Career Services Center, Room 210, 521-6270.

Updated: Monday, November 23, 2009

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