Hausman, Blake M.
|MWF 3-4||225 Wheeler||
Reading and Composition
As studies in “American literature” or “Literature in English” grow increasingly diverse and inclusive, several important questions arise in relation to “Native American literature.” What is Native American literature, and how does it relate to the larger canons of American and Anglophone literature? On one level, Native literature predates European settlement by thousands of years; on another level, Native literature in English is barely older than the United States itself.
This class will examine a wide range of word art produced in English during the last 160 years by writers of Indigenous American descent. We will engage works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and film. Since the writers who create these texts come from such different backgrounds and employ great variations of style and substance, we will ultimately question what makes “Native American literature” what it is. From the 19th century myth of Joaquin Murieta to the widely popular contemporary work of Sherman Alexie, how does Native American literature give readers some wonderfully entertaining stories while simultaneously pushing us to question the implications of living in “America” in the 21st century?