Intro to Lit: Lit & Culture (AM Indian/Indigenous)

Introduction to American
Indian/Indigenous Literatures and Cultures

As a 200-level
course, this class will serve as an introduction to the American
Indian/Indigenous cultures and literatures of North America through a wide
variety of texts that cover “traditional” Euro-American literary forms
(fiction, poetry, and essay) as well as rhetorics, spoken word, audio/visual,
material culture, blogs and websites, and more. This means that you will not be
required to bring any specialized knowledge to the class, but you will need a
sincere interest in the material and the willingness to do all the reading and writing assignments for the class in order to
build that knowledge.

The broad goals of the class are as follows:

·to acquaint students with the range and
variety of both American Indian communities and the texts they produce;

·to help students become familiar with
recurring issues – such as identity, political and rhetorical sovereignty,
economic development, governmental reform, culture and language reclamation and
maintenance, land and water rights, health and social welfare, feminism,
education, and other social concerns – that contemporary Native communities
address within those texts; and

begin developing historical and critical perspectives concerning colonialism
and its effect on all citizens of these lands, Native and non-Native, in order
to better understand and respect Indigenous and Native cultures and texts,
while still learning to build cross-cultural alliances.

·Special opportunities will be made to
link discussions of American Indian/Indigenous issues and texts to the lands,
peoples, and textual discourses of Hawai’i.


1. Kidwell, Clara Sue and Alan Velie. American Indian Studies. Lincoln: University of Nebraska

Press, 2005. Paperback. ISBN-10: 0803278292 ISBN-13: 978-0803278295

2. Alexie, Sherman. The
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
. New York: Little, Brown,

and Company: 2007. Paperback. ISBN-10: 0316013692 ISBN-13: 978-0316013697


3. Driskill, Qwo-Li. Walking
with Ghosts
. Cambridge, UL: Salt Publishing, 2005. Paperback.

ISBN-10: 1844711137 ISBN-13: 978-1844711130


4. Erdrich, Louise. The
Birchbark House
. New York: Hyperion, 2002. Paperback. ISBN-

10: 0786814543 ISBN-13: 978-0786814541


5. King, Thomas. The
Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative
. Minneapolis: University of

Minnesota Press, 2008. Paperback. ISBN-10: 0816646279
ISBN-13: 978-0816646272


6. Krouse, Susan Applegate and Heather Howard. Keeping the Campfires Going: Native

Activism in Urban Communities
. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.

Paperback. ISBN-10: 0803220502 ISBN-13: 978-0803220508


These texts will be available at the UHM bookstore, and you
can also acquire them online. Additional readings will be posted to Laulima.



In addition to the daily reading assignments, you will also
be required to complete four written projects of various lengths, participate
in class discussion and in peer review, give a presentation, post short
responses to Laulima on a weekly basis, and do a take-home exam for the final.
The breakdown of the class is as follows:

·Project 1: Autobiographical Assignment:
Relationship to People and Place (10%)

·Project 2: Class Presentation w/ visuals and handouts (15%)

·Project 3: Review/Critique of an
American Indian Text or Author     (15%)

·Project 4: Course Research Project (25%)

·Laulima Postings (10%)

·In-class Participation (10%)

·Final Exam (15%)