Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Carol Edelman Warrior
AIS 377
Seattle Campus

Contemporary American Indian Literature

Creative writings - novels, short stories, poems - of contemporary Indian authors; the traditions out of which these works evolved. Differences between Indian writers and writers of the dominant European/American mainstream. Offered: jointly with ENGL 359.

Class description

Cannibals, Vampires, Colonizers, and Other Fearsome Figures: AIS 377 / ENGL 359 Summer 2013; Contemporary American Indian Literature

Depictions of human interactions with other beings can be a window to another world or worldview--and also a potential mirror--especially designed to help readers see the world and ourselves in a new way. Popular values and genre expectations help most readers identify with the protagonist and vilify the antagonist, yet when contemporary American Indian writers re-imagine the vampire or post-apocalyptic landscapes, villains are almost universally formed though colonialist beliefs, practices, or influences. That is, in American Indian fiction, monstrosity emerges from social and environmental transgressions against Indigenous values and relationships.

In reading for this course, we'll examine depictions of villains, dystopias, monstrous technologies, the undead and otherwise voracious beings; the relationships that "evil" attempts to disrupt; and the means by which protagonists fight their demons. Through short stories, novels, and a film or two, this course will examine how American Indian authors continue a long-established practice of social and environmental intervention through storytelling and story-writing.

Readings and films will include:

"Distances" and "The Sin Eaters," short stories by Sherman Alexie,

Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism(excerpts) by Jack Forbes

Solar Storms by Linda Hogan

Kynship by Daniel Heath Justice

Tambien la lluvia, a film written by Paul Laverty and directed by Iciar Bollain

The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation


-Three required texts in hard-copy:

The Way of Thorn and Thunder, Book One -- by Daniel Heath Justice

Solar Storms by Linda Hogan

The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor

-An interest in the subject.

Recommended, but not required:

-Some familiarity with contemporary Indigenous issues, as well as American Indian/Alaska Native or Canadian First Nations' historical relationships with their colonizers would be helpful.

-Familiarity with representations of American Indians in pop-culture would also be helpful.

-Previous literature courses and successful completion of at least one 100-level composition course would be helpful.

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Carol Edelman Warrior
Date: 07/08/2013