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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2018
Oct 21, 2020
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ENGL 209 - Native American Lit
This course introduces students to a range of twentieth-century texts - short stories, novels, memoirs, and scholarship - by canonical Native American writers such as Zitkala-Sâ, Louise Erdrich, D'Arcy McNickle, James Welch, and M. Scott Momaday. It also examines some key moments in twentieth-century Indigenous film and visual arts. Drawing on tribal traditions and worldviews, these writers and artists grapple with the rich, complicated histories that have emerged from the contact between Indigenous Nations and the U.S. With a focus on the concepts of rhetorical and visual sovereignty, we will explore how these representative writers and artists express individual and tribal identities, revise stereotypes and contest colonization. For example, we will analyze how these artists reframe stories of victimization as narratives of survivance and strength. While respecting the specific cultural context of each writer/artist and the demands of the genre of each text, this course will identify shared thematic concerns and literary and visual strategies. To help us better appreciate the cultural work these texts do, we will also read scholarship by Indigenous writers and work by non-native scholars on historical and cultural issues relevant to the texts such as forced removal, Indian boarding school programs, museumification, and repatriation. The course will also investigate recent controversies over the representation and appropriation of Indigenous images in popular culture. As this course fulfills both English major and humanities requirements, assignments will center on the writing process (prewriting, drafting, responding, revising, editing, and publication) to develop critical thinking skills that can be used across disciplines.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
0.000 Lab hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture

English Department

Course Attributes:
Core:HALC - Hum, Art, Lit, Cul, Mean Grade is Calculated


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