Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 AM
Professor: Lupe Linares
If you have looked at social media at all in recent weeks and months, you likely have heard about the ongoing protests against the Dakota Pipeline. You may have seen news stories about celebrities who have been arrested during the protests, or you may have seen someone who you know is nowhere near North Dakota check into Standing Rock. These recent events draw attention to the ways in which Native American concerns intersect broadly with the interests of all U.S. residents. At the same time, focusing on national and global issues that affect everyone distracts from honoring concerns that are specific to the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes—concerns that are shaped by a complex colonial past and that continue to shape contemporary Native American identity. As such, this course will work to make a small stride in combatting a long history of colonialism, displacement, and stereotyping. To do this, we will interrogate the umbrella term “Native American” through reading a variety of 20th and 21st century texts to see how these authors explore, construct, and deconstruct contemporary Native American identities. We will begin with nonfiction by Dakota Sioux author Zitkala-Ša, who chronicles her experience with boarding schools and forced assimilation at the turn of the 20th century. We will read fiction by Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), James Welch (Blackfoot/ Gros Ventre), Sherman Alexie (Spokane/ Coeur d’Alene), and Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe). We will also read poetry by authors such as Joy Harjo (Mvskoke/ Creek) and Esther Belin (Diné) and view Smoke Signals, a film directed and co-produced by Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/ Arapaho).