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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2006

E 314V • Native American Literature and Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32720 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
PAR 310

Course Description

This course on American Indian literature and culture is organized around the following related yet independently important concepts: the definition and practice of power, intersecting cultural environments, lifeways and stereotypes, knowing who you are. We will "hear" American Indian voices raise and discuss these concepts and at times they (and we) will discuss their perspectives in relation to those historically held by the mainstream culture in America. With each text we will explore additional themes, which range from encounters with change (through personal loss and survival, and in both urban and reservation life) to encounters with the Federal government (land rights and environmental issues). The important function of symbols, recurring motifs, and organizational patterns in American Indian literature also will be part of our analysis of each text.

Through our readings and discussions we will better understand the issues and concerns that American Indians have faced, the effects of plans to help the Indian, and the visions or proposals for the future.

Grading Policy

Short written responses (five at 2-3 pages each): 30%
Midterm: 20%
Group Presentation (includes a 3-5 page paper from each student): 20%
Final Project (includes a 4-6 page paper): 30%


Susan Power, The Grass Dancer
N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
Sherman Alexie, Indian Killer
Vine Deloria, Jr., Custer Died for Your Sins: an Indian Manifesto
And selected essays from the following: Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing, Ed. MariJo Moore; Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing about American Indians, Ed. Devon A. Mihesuah
Film: The Return of Navajo Boy


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