Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG254H1S - L5101

ENG254H1S - L5101
Introduction to Indigenous 

Times: Tues 6-9 pm

Instructor: C. Suzack


Brief Description of Course: This course explores literature by Indigenous writers from North America. It focuses on fiction, critical essays, and films in order to account for the ways in which Indigenous writers are in dialogue with each other and to analyze how they use cultural texts as sites of contestation, appropriation, and renewal in altering how Indigenous peoples are understood by themselves and the wider public. By comparing and contrasting the different styles of engagement that writers and film makers use to advance debates about Indigenous cultural expression, our course will enquire into the following questions: What are the cultural concerns of Indigenous writers, and how are these concerns thematized in their writing? What concepts of race and ethnic identity do Indigenous authors employ and at what historical junctures are these terms relevant? How do Indigenous writers and film makers explore colonialism and resistance, and what claims for social change do they propose? The course will also focus on ideas about Indigenous literary activism, identity politics, and oral tradition as literary innovation.

Required Reading(s): TBA

First Three Authors/Texts: D'Arcy McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich.

Method of Evaluation: Participation (15%), Midterm Test (20%), Essay (25%), Final Exam (40%).

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We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.