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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Fall 2005

R S 357 • Midnight Sun People-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43560 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
mez 2.124

Course Description

What can a small minority group teach us about peaceful coexistence, sensible use of the environment and a meaningful rapport with the spiritual world? In this interdisciplinary course we will learn about the Sami, an indigenous people living today mainly in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Not too long ago commonly referred to as Lapps or Laplanders and often the victims of discrimination by the majority cultures in the area they inhabit, the Sami have, in recent years, received a greater degree of autonomy and their culture is being studied both by non-Sami scholars and by the Sami themselves. Sami writers, musicians and graphic artists are being recognized worldwide. We will first place the Sami in a historical-cultural context by examining factual materials, both historical and contemporary, on the Samis social and economic systems, religion, customs and values. Many of the readings will have an outsiders point of view, but there will be materials written by Sami scholars as well. In the major portion of the course we will view the Sami primarily from within; the Sami will present themselves through their literature, film, music and art.

Grading Policy

Journal including final essay, minimum 12 pages (25%) Substantial revision of final essay, minimum 12 pages (25%) Film review of Pathfinder, a film retelling an old Sami legend. At least 4 pages (10%). Exams (20%) Oral Report (10%) Class Participation (10%)


Mulk/Kuoljok/Utsi. The Saami-People of the Sun and the Wind. Valkeapää, Nils-Aslak. Trekways of the Wind. Gaski, Harald. In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun-Contemporary Sami Prose and Poetry. Gaski, Harald. Sami Culture in a New Era. Peoples, James & Garrick Bailey. Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Gaup, Ailo. In Search of the Drum. Basso, Keith B. Portraits of the Whiteman. Neihardt, John G. Black Elk Speaks. Jenssen, Frank A. The Salt Bin.


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