William R Seaburg
Exploration of the rich oral traditional heritage of the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest, emphasizing common features of content (plot, themes, and characters), style, and performance. Includes folkloristic, anthropological, and literary perspectives.
An exploration of the rich oral traditional heritage of the Native peoples of the Northwest Coast and the Plateau, this lecture/discussion course will emphasize common regional features of content (plots, themes, and characters), style, and performance. We will read-and listen to-a variety of genres, including myths, tales, historical narratives, clan and family histories, personal experience narratives, and oratory; our primary interest, though, will be myths and tales. We will also consider such issues as: how do the stories reflect the Native cultures? How has the folklore changed under the impact of the dominant Euroamerican ulture? What are some of the problems with re-presenting an oral literary tradition on the printed page? How can (or should?) these texts be interpreted?
The course will include folkloristic, anthropological, and literary perspectives. It will treat oral traditions as one expressive system among several within larger cultural contexts. Although the course will have an areal orientation, emphasizing common regional features, part of the course will focus on the Coyote myths of the Nez Perce.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture/discussion. Attendance is important for doing well in the course.
Class assignments and grading
Exercises and papers.