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Dr. Jesse Peters
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone: 910.521.6635
Fax:
910.521.6606
Email:
peters@uncp.edu

Location: Dial 260 A
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English 5050 and English / American Indian Studies 4500: Native American Literatures of the Southwest

Summer 2008 Monday and Thursday 5:00-9:00 pm

Instructors: Dr. Jane Haladay and Dr. Jesse Peters
Offices: Old Main 203 and Old Main 204
Office Hours: Peters: Monday and Friday 4:00-5:00, Via Email, ABA / Haladay: By Appointment Only
Phone: 910.521.6485; 910.521.6635
email: haladayj@uncp.edu and peters@uncp.edu

Course Description:

This course is designed to expose students to contemporary Native American literature of what is now known as the Southwest and to provide an environment for discussion of that literature. We will be looking at writers who specifically address many issues related to their experiences as Indigenous peoples of the Southwestern United States. Along the way, we will address such key questions as what is Native American literature? How do these writers work within and/or against the dominant center in the U.S.? How does Native American literature relate to other literature produced in the U.S. and the rest of the world? What do readers, both native and non-native, have to learn from these texts? What part does the oral tradition play in these texts? What kinds of worldviews do we see reflected in the writings?

What we now perceive of as the identity of the United States of America is certainly complex and difficult to articulate. Some would say it calls to mind words like freedom, democracy, fairness, and equality. Others might say that it also demands adjectives like arrogant, manipulative, hypocritical, violent, and selfish. Perhaps Native Americans, more than any other group of Americans, are in a position to add insight into the discussion. The history of interaction between Indian people and Euroamericans serve as the founding fabric of this contemporary nation, and the issues that Native American people have faced (and continue to face) because of colonization provide a lens through which we can examine both Native American reality/identity and American reality/identity. What we may indeed find is that those two experiences are inextricably intertwined.

Our challenge is to try to see how many contemporary Indian authors, particularly those from the Southwest, are articulating and discussing issues that are central to the lives of Native American people. But beyond that, I hope you will see why we believe that the literature being produced by Native American authors is the most important literature in the world today.

Most days, both the graduate and undergraduate students will meet together to discuss the literature for the course. All students are also enrolled in the Blackboard course site, and we will also depend on the electronic discussion board.

This course also offers an optional travel component. June 13-18, we will accompany students to New Mexico (and possibly Arizona). During this trip, we will travel around the state in an effort to expose students to the settings and cultures from which these novels have emerged. Students who are unable to take the trip will continue coursework through Blackboard.

Required Texts: (others may be added)

(Helen Sekaquaptewa) Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa
(N. Scott Momaday) House Made of Dawn
(Leslie Marmon Silko; 2006 Anniversary edition) Ceremony
(Aaron Carr) Eye Killers
(Luci Tapahonso) Saanii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing
(Simon Ortiz) Out There Somewhere
Various Essays on Reserve in Livermore Library

Course Requirements:

Please come to class each day ready to discuss the material; make sure you have read the texts for that day before class.

Panel Presentation

During the course, you will give a panel presentation to the class. The first will be on one of the primary texts that we cover. You will be responsible for doing a little research on the work and the author and then presenting that information to the class. You should think of this presentation as a chance for you to practice teaching Native American literature. I will expect you to begin by giving a 30-45 minute presentation at the beginning of the class. You may want to include things like biographical information, reactions to the work, information about the author's cultural experience, and themes you discovered in the novel. Then you should raise questions for discussion and facilitate the dialogue on that work. The Graduate Students will be responsible for coordinating the panel, moderating the flow of information, and facilitating the dialogue. Dr. Haladay and I will assign the groups. The way to succeed in this is to make sure to do enough research and explore the critical responses to the text you choose. Multi-media aids are strongly encouraged. Reading long paragraphs of text off Power Point slides is not an effective multi-media presentation.

Final Project

The final project should be focused on a topic/thesis that you can articulate primarily through in-depth analysis of a literary text or texts that we have covered this session. You need to start thinking about this project early because the summer term is so short. As with any literature paper, you will develop an argument that you can support through textual analysis and evidence from outside sources.

Graduate Students:

For students who do not go on the trip, the final research project is due the last week of class and should be 10-15 pages long, typed and double spaced. Eight secondary sources is the minimum, but we expect that you will need to use more. MLA format should be followed at all times. No cover page or binder is needed; simple put your name and class at the top of the first page, then type your title and begin the paper. Number all pages. Remember, a simple, neat presentation is often the best presentation.

For students who go on the trip, your final project will be a bit different. For each day we are in New Mexico, you are expected to keep a travel journal. You should write at least 500 words a day in which you reflect on what you have seen, noticed, discovered, etc. It will also be good to talk about how your experiences are affecting your relationship with the literature we have read. It might be beneficial to think of these travels as your opportunity to read the southwest as a text. Try your hand at interpreting and analyzing the place (people, culture, landscape, food, etc) just as you would a novel or a poem. What does the place mean, and better yet, how does the place mean, both to you and to the people who live there? Your final project will be in two parts. The first will be a 4-6 page essay in which you articulate how your travels have placed you in a different position to interact with the literary texts. The second part will be a 4-6 page research essay (4 secondary sources minimum) on a literary work we covered during the class. If you can think of creative ways to connect these, I encourage you to try it.

Undergraduate Students:

For students who do not go on the trip, the final research project is due the last week of class and should be 8-10 pages long, typed and double spaced. Six secondary sources is the minimum, but we expect that you will need to use more. MLA format should be followed at all times. No cover page or binder is needed; simple put your name and class at the top of the first page, then type your title and begin the paper. Number all pages. Remember, a simple, neat presentation is often the best presentation.

For students who go on the trip, your final project will be a bit different. For each day we are in New Mexico, you are expected to keep a travel journal. You should write at least 500 words a day in which you reflect on what you have seen, noticed, discovered, etc. It will also be good to talk about how your experiences are affecting your relationship with the literature we have read. It might be beneficial to think of these travels as your opportunity to read the southwest as a text. Try your hand at interpreting and analyzing the place (people, culture, landscape, food, etc) just as you would a novel or a poem. What does the place mean, and better yet, how does the place mean, both to you and to the people who live there? Your final project will be in two parts. The first will be a 4-6 page essay in which you articulate how your travels have placed you in a different position to interact with the literary texts. The second part will be a 4-6 page research essay (3 secondary sources minimum) on a literary work we covered during the class. If you can think of creative ways to connect these, I encourage you to try it.

Final Exam

During the last class meeting, you will log into Blackboard and take a final exam electronically. The final will consist of short questions about the texts, and you will engage in discussion of the issues covered in the course. This will be your chance to demonstrate your overall handle on the material.

Participation

Because this course is so dependent upon student engagement and class dialogue, you will be given a grade based on your participation. Also, any distractions you cause that interferes with the participation of others will cause the grade to suffer. You will have ample opportunity to contribute to class discussions, and there will also be times when you are asked to contribute via Blackboard. As long as you read the material, come to class with questions and ideas to share, and remain respectful of others, then you should have no trouble with the participation grade in the course.

Blackboard Course Site

Sometimes the schedule calls for you to log into the Blackboard Course Site rather than meeting in the classroom. There we will chat using the electronic discussion board. Sometimes I will ask you to complete other assignments inside the course site. Not participating in these discussions is the same as being absent from class. The requirements for hardware, software, and skills necessary to successfully navigate this online environment are available here: Online Course Skills.

Course Policies:

• Attendance is mandatory. We will take attendance most days. If you miss more than two days of class for any reason, We 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). If you are late to class, you may be counted absent. You are also responsible for any information you miss if you are absent.
• We do not accept late assignments for any reason without my prior consent. We're usually more than willing to help you out, but you must talk to me or Dr. Haladay (whichever is your primary instructor) beforehand. We have voicemail and email. Late papers will receive a 0 grade.
• If you need to talk to one of us, please take advantage of our office hours or email. We are also more than willing to meet by appointment.
• We may give pop quizzes if necessary to ensure that you are reading, so be sure and do the reading. Quizzes cannot be made up. We expect a lot of class participation during the course.
• Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated (talking while others are talking, coming in late, rude comments, etc.). 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 on the first day that we begin discussion.

Note: Please refer to the ETL department’s web site for departmental and university guidelines and plagiarism policy (www.uncp.edu/etl/) At the very least, any plagiarism will result in a grade of F for the course.

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.

Grading System:

Panel Presentation 200 pts. 20%
Final Exam

300 pts. 30%

Participation 100 pts. 10%

Final Project

______________

400 pts. 40%

_______________________

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.
 

Course Schedule: (Always Subject to Change)

May 22

Introduction to the course; Discussion of history, culture, worldview, and attitudes; Read and discuss Ortiz's "Native Heritage: A Tradition of Participation"

May 26

No Class, Memorial Day; There will be a discussion forum posted on Blackboard, and you are welcome to participate there to get a head start on the first novel

May 29

Panel Presentation #1; Sekaquaptewa Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa

June 2

Panel Presentation #2; N. Scott Momaday House Made of Dawn

June 5

Panel Presentation #3; Luci Tapahonso Saanii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing

June 9

Panel Presentation #4; Silko Ceremony

June 12

Panel Presentation #5; Aaron Carr Eye Killers

June 16

Discussion on Blackboard

June 19

Panel Presentation #6; Simon Ortiz Out There Somewhere

June 23

General Discussion / Film ; Undergraduate Final Projects Due

June 26

Final Exam On Blackboard; Graduate Final Projects Due (These papers should be dropped electronically into the Blackboard Digital Drop box).

This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services, Career Services Center, Room 210, 910.521.6270.

Updated: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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