As an introductory survey, this course emphasizes the formal, thematic, and cultural diversity of Native American literatures. Recognizing that Native textual practices expand and reinvent the category of the “literary,” we will read novels, poetry, short stories, and comics—among other media, such as maps, films, and weavings—by authors from a range of regions, periods, forms, and tribal nations. Informed by conceptual frameworks such as sovereignty, survivance, gender and sexuality, and intellectual trade, our literary analyses will account for how Native authors respond to historical, political, and legal contexts. Students will undertake creative and analytical writing projects that explore Native textualities in terms of literary techniques and geographical, cultural, and social themes.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Multicultural, Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) courses examine the social construction of collective identities, the emergence of representative voices from varying social and cultural standpoints, and the effects of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. The purpose of courses in this category is to analyze the general principles underlying tolerance, or the lack of it.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.