ENG361 202003 Undergraduate

Spring 2021
ENG 361
Applies To: 
Course Description: 

Examines the origins and development of Native American literature and culture in relevant intellectual, social, and historical contexts. Course will be taught once or more per academic year.

Native American Writers

Gordon Sayre

Gordon Sayre profile picture
  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Interim Summer 2020 Head of English, Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-1313
  • Office: 472 PLC
  • Office Hours: S22: 1-2 Wednesday 1-3 Thursday
Department Section Description: 

D’Arcy McNickle and Louise Erdrich were both born into métis or mixed-blood families on the northern plains, and wrote novels about the life of indigenous and immigrant peoples in and around a fictionalized version of a reservation, the Flathead Reservation in Montana and the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. Both have written children’s books in addition to novels, poetry, memoirs, and works of history. In reading several novels by each author, we will explore key themes and motifs in the work of each, and learn about Native American history in this region. The amount of reading is substantial, but these novels will be a pleasure for most of you. Writing assignments will include close textual comparison of short fiction by each author, published in magazines, to related episodes in their novels; and research on historical or folkloric sources that each drew upon for their work.



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.

C-Literature 1789-Present

Literature, 1789 to the present courses focus on literary work produced over more than two centuries -- from the period of British romanticism and the early republic of the United States up to now -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history.  Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.


Empire, Race, and/or Ethnicity courses focus on ways that race matters in literature, media, and culture.  Recent courses have examined such matters as native American literature and film; nineteenth-century writings by slavers and enslaved people in the U.S. and British colonies; fiction and filmmaking in post-apartheid South Africa; Latinx science fiction and environmental justice, and the novels of Toni Morrison.

English Minor

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.