ENG254Y1Y L5101 T6-9
Indigenous Literature of North America
Instructor: Cheryl Suzack
Office Location: TBD
Brief Description of Course: This course will examine literature by Indigenous writers from North America with a view to exploring key terms and concepts that have contributed to the development of the literary field. We will discuss organizing categories of race and ethnic identity in order to understand the relationship between Indigenous writing and broader literary movements. Our purpose will be to explore how these terms have become sites of contestation and appropriation by Indigenous authors. The following questions will be relevant to our discussions: What are the cultural concerns of Indigenous writers and how are these concerns explored in writing? What concepts of race and ethnic identity do Indigenous authors employ and at what historical junctures are these terms relevant? To what degree does Indigenous literature engage with social and cultural issues that affect Indigenous communities? How does the literary text represent issues of hegemony, colonialism, and resistance, and what claims for social change are proposed by this writing? Topics in the course may include Indigenous literary activism, identity politics, and oral tradition as literary innovation.
Required Reading: Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Life Among the Piautes, 1883; Francis La Flesche, The Middle Five, 1900; N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn, Perennial, 1966; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony, Penguin, 1977; Louise Erdrich, Tracks, Perennial, 1988; Thomas King, Medicine River, Penguin, 1989; Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach, Vintage, 2000; Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen, Doubleday, 1998; Warren Cariou, Lake of the Prairies, 2002; Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse, 2012.
First Three Authors/Texts: Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Life Among the Piautes, 1883; Francis La Flesche, The Middle Five, 1900; N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn, Perennial, 1966.
Method of Evaluation: Attendance, participation, essays, in-class tests.