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Native American Novel

This course will provide an introduction to the Native American novel.  We will examine the ways in which contemporary American Indian writers use the oral traditions, religious beliefs, and histories of their tribes to experiment with the traditional novel form.  The novels we will be reading experiment with narrative voice, form, characterization, temporality, and the traditional function of the novel in an attempt to represent Native viewpoints, communities, and histories.  We will explore how these writers appropriate the identity and community-building function of the novel to create new narratives to help Native peoples negotiate contemporary American Indian life.  Possible novelists include Leslie Marmon Silko, LeAnne Howe, Stephen Graham Jones, Blake Hausman, Phillip Red Eagle, and Louise Erdrich.  Possible novel theorists include Simon Ortiz, Ian Watt, Walter Benjamin, Linda Hutcheon, Jodi Byrd, Catherine Belsey, and others.


Short Critical Papers: 50%

Group Presentation:  15%

Final Exam (in essay format):  35%


REQUIRED TEXTS (available at the university bookstore)

            Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (ISBN: 9780143104919)

            Daniel Heath Justice, Kynship (ISBN:  0973139668), also available in paperback/Kindle as The Way of Thorn and Thunder

            Louise Erdrich, Tracks (ISBN: 0060972459)

            Stephen Graham Jones, Ledfeather (ISBN:  9781573661461)

            LeAnne Howe, Miko Kings (ISBN:  9781879960787)

            Blake Hausman, Riding the Trail of Tears (ISBN:  9780803239265)

            Philip Red Eagle’s Red Earth (ISBN: 9781844712687)

Additional required texts are posted on ELC (