English 5050 and English / American Indian Studies 4500: Native American Literatures of the Southwest
Summer 2010 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: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
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.
Please be aware that literature often contains language and/or events that an individual might find offensive. Writers reflect the worlds they know, and like it or not, there are lots of people in the world who do use language some might find inappropriate. So literature is filled with all sorts of characters, many who use profanity, commit terrible crimes, lie, betray others, etc. But usually they are contrasted against other characters. As we analyze literature, we also advance theories about what the author may be trying to say through these characters and plots.
There will be graphic language in the works we read, and there will be violence and disturbing scenes. As an upper level course, this Native American Novel class will also cover a diversity of perspectives on the social, cultural, economic, spiritual, and political issues of concern to many Indigenous peoples, expressed primarily in their own words. Some of the literature we read may contain profanity, explicit or graphic content (which may be sexual and/or violent), or political or religious opinions that differ from yours. These are part of the experiences of many Native writers’ lives and we will consider them in the spirit of intellectual inquiry.
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 22-27, we will accompany students to New Mexico. 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)
(Luci Tapahonso) Blue Horses Rush In
(N. Scott Momaday) House Made of Dawn
(Leslie Marmon Silko) 2006 Anniversary edition; Ceremony
(Joy Harjo) The Woman Who Fell From the Sky
(Evelina Lucero) Night Sky, Morning Star
(Simon Ortiz) Out There Somewhere
Various Essays on Reserve in Livermore Library or online
Please come to class each day ready to discuss the material; make sure you have read the texts for that day before class.
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.
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.
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 5-8 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 5-8 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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
|Panel Presentation||200 pts. 20%|
300 pts. 30%
|Participation||100 pts. 10%|
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)
The First Class will be conducted via the BlackBoard Discussion Board.
Introduction to the course; discussion of history, culture, worldview, and attitudes; read and discuss Silko's "Interior and Exterior Landscapes: The Pueblo Migration Stories" (available electronically on Course Reserves).
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.
Panel Presentation #1: Luci Tapahonso, Blue Horses Rush In
Guest Speaker: Dr. Molly McGlennen (Vassar College)
Panel Presentation #2: N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
Panel Presentation #3: Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Panel Presentation #4: Joy Harjo, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky
Panel Presentation #5: Evelina Lucero, Night Sky, Morning Star
Panel Presentation #6: Simon Ortiz, Out There Somewhere
Discussion on Blackboard (on the road in Albuquerque!)
Undergraduate Final Projects Due
Final Exam; Graduate Final Project 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: Friday, May 14, 2010
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