Carol Edelman Warrior
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.
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.
Some of the works under consideration for this class are:
"Distances" and "The Sin Eaters," short stories by Sherman Alexie,
The Dreams of Jesse Brown by Joseph Bruchac
Eye Killers by A.A. Carr
Tracks by Louise Erdrich
Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism(excerpts) by Jack Forbes
Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe
Demon Theory by Stephen Graham Jones
Kynship by Daniel Heath Justice
Tambien la lluvia, a film written by Paul Laverty and directed by Iciar Bollain
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
-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