English 190

Research Seminar: Native America/Early America


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2010 Donegan, Kathleen
Donegan, Kathleen
MW 4-5:30 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Harriot, T.: A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia; Rowlandson, M.: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Williams, R.: A Key into the Language of America; Apess, W.: A Son of the Forest; Cooper, J. F.: The Last of the Mohicans; Black Hawk: Life of Black Hawk; Sedgwick, C.M.: Hope Leslie; Jemison, M.: A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison

Description

In 1705, the colonist Robert Beverley introduced his History and Present State of Virginia with the proud declaration: “I am an Indian, and don’t pretend to be exact in my Language.” What might such a proclamation have meant, with its complicated invocations of nativity, authenticity, identity, language, authority, place, and difference? With these kind of questions in mind, the seminar will explore the deeply contested cultural terrain that existed between Early America and Native America from the beginnings of English colonization to the era of Indian Removal. Historical and literary representations of the “Indian” powerfully expressed how “American” traits passed between native inhabitants and creolized colonists, and at what cost. Readings will include a wide range of narratives and counter-narratives: early ethnographies, phrase books, captivity narratives, laws and letters, prophecies and petitions, memoirs, sermons, and novels. We will think about the ambiguity and brutality of racial categories; literacy and the reconstruction of oral cultures; religious modes of conversion and resistance; land possession and the mythic “frontier"; the racialization of a National Self; the rhetoric of historical inevitability; and how all these messy processes were concretized, romanticized, or repressed in historical retrospect. Authors will include Thomas Harriot, Mary Rowlandson, Roger Williams, William Apess, James Fenimore Cooper, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Black Hawk, Handsome Lake and others. Students will read widely in both primary and secondary literature, and will write two short papers and a final research paper.

This section of English 190 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

English 190 replaced English 100 and 150 as of Fall '09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or English 150 before Fall '09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in, or wait-listing for, this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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