Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
ams masthead
Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Spring 2004

AMS 322 • Native American Women Writers

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26235 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
PAR 204

Course Description

In 1927, an Okanogan/Salish woman named Mourning Dove published Cogewea, the Half-Blood. Cogewea the protagonist is no Disney Pocahontas; she’s a strong-willed, sharp-shooting, “half-breed” cowgirl who successfully blazes her own way in the modern world. Cogewea the novel was the first published by a Native American woman, and it will serve as the starting place for our study of twentieth-century Native American women’s literature. The schedule of readings includes novels, short stories, autobiographies, and poems by major Native American women writers. We will examine the specific tribal, historical, and political contexts which shape individual works, as well as the connecting themes—survival and renewal, continuity and change—which distinguish this vital body of American literature. This course provides an introduction to American Indian cultures, with literature and gender as our frames of reference and Indian women’s issues as our major theme. As a Substantial Writing Component (SWC) course, it is also an opportunity for renewed attention to and improvement of writing skills. The successful student will gain knowledge about American Indian histories, cultures, and literatures; appreciate the complexity and diversity of Indian women’s lives; develop critical insights into the intersections of race, class, gender, and colonialism; and demonstrate this learning in writing.


Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird, eds., Reinventing the Enemy’s Language. Norton, 1998. Zitkala-Sa, American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings. Ed. Cathy Davidson. Penguin, 2003. Mourning Dove, Cogewea. University of Nebraska Press, 1981. Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller. Arcade Books, 1989. Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine. Harper Perennial, 2001. Luci Tapahonso, Blue Horses Rush In. University of Arizona Press,1997. Fitzgerald and Darby, eds. Keepers of the Morning Star. UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2003.


bottom border