English 372-001 Spring 2015 T 11:00-1:40 Curtin 118 Prof. Kimberly Blaeser firstname.lastname@example.org Office: Curtin 572 Dept. #229-4511 Survey of American Indian Literature: Native American Story from Pictograph to Hypertext Course Description: This class will explore the storytelling aesthetic that informs much of Native Literature and even informs Native critical theory. The primary materials for this course will include many “containers” of story not generally understood as “text.” We begin, for example, with images of Native pictographs and the interpretive materials that will help us as reader/viewers “translate” the storied art works. Our study will also include samples of early and contemporary oral storytelling, some presented in a multidimensional performance. We will investigate both sacred and secular Native stories, work to understand the relationships between them, and analyze their different cultural purposes. The class will consider the special storytelling layers accessible in Native ledger art, both ledger art from the 19th century and that of the more recent revival of the form. We will, of course, look at more traditional samples of American Indian stories—fiction, life stories, narrative poetry, creative non-fiction, and narrative history. Finally, we will view and discuss examples of the supposedly new story methods such as film, interactive art, Native hip-hop, and video poems. As we do so, we will trace and compare their storytelling traditions with those we have already encountered. Critical texts, too, will include work drawn from scholars like Gerald Vizenor, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, and Gordon Henry who understand story as a key aesthetic component of Native theory. Required Texts: Books for this course are available at Woodland Pattern Book Center, a non-profit literary center located at 720 E. Locust St., Milwaukee (#263-5001, Hrs. T-F 12-8, S & S 12-5). Required texts include: Nothing But the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature, eds. John Purdy & James Ruppert The Round House, Louise Erdrich Storyteller, Leslie Silko. The Way to Rainy Mountain, N. Scott Momaday Additional work will be available in a Course Reader, on D2-L, and as handouts in class.