English 84

Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Native American Short Fiction


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Wong, Hertha Sweet
T 4-6, Sept 2 to Oct 21 only 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Wong, H., et. al, Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008; Reader (available at Copy Central, 2560 Bancroft Way.

Description

Contemporary Native American stories are survival stories, reckonings with the brutal history of colonization and its ongoing consequences: they calculate indigenous positions, settle overdue accounts, note old debts, and demand an accounting. These are the stories, says Joy Harjo, that ?keep us from giving up in this land of nightmares, which is also the land of miracles.? Focusing on the short fiction of a select number of contemporary Native North American writers from within the U.S., we will examine how these Native writers convey: cultural survival in the wake of colonization; struggles for sovereignty; rejuvenations of ceremonial healing; retellings of myth and history; experiments with orality and literacy; and articulations of a geocentric epistemology and land-based narrative. In addition, we will examine the literary, cultural and regional influences on these writers and place their work in the context of Native American literatures specifically and U.S.literatures and global indigenous literatures, generally.

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