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

Spring 2005

E 370W • Native American Women Writers

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32395 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
PAR 208

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.

Grading Policy

First short paper (3 pages) 10%
Three literary-critical papers (4-5 pages; 15% each) 45%
One longer paper (8-10 pages) 25%
Group presentation 10%
Attendance and participation 10%


Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop (1984)
Mourning Dove, Cogewea, the Half-Blood (1927)
Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller (1981)
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine (1984)
Poetry by Joy Harjo, Allison Hedge Coke, Luci Tapahonso, and nila northSun


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