According to Cherokee scholar, musician, and storyteller Thomas King, “The truth about stories is, that’s all we are” (2). Of course, then, at times people are dependent on who is telling their stories. Since time immemorial, Native American peoples have been telling their own stories, of themselves, of others, and of their experiences. While settler colonists would violently steal land, lives, and materials from Native Nations, they would also usurp and attempt to imagine Native voices and stories to suit their colonizing mission. At the same time, the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island resist such colonial mimicry, and a robust and continuing literary tradition stands before and in the face of violent colonialism. This class seeks to create a community of readers that listen to, analyze, and, as best as possible, understand Native stories and amplify the voices within so that they may be told in the past, present, and future. Along the way, we will look at contemporary versions of Native American literary history on Wikipedia, and we will attempt to dismantle any colonial histories that remain there as they relate to the stories and authors we will read by becoming Wikipedia editors.
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.
US: Difference, Inequality, and Agency courses focus on race and ethnicity in the United States by considering two or more racial and ethnic groups.
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.