Introduction to Indigenous Literatures

English 2490
Section 1
Maureen Konkle

This course looks at the proliferation of Maori, Hawaiian, Aboriginal Australian, and Native North American writing since 2000, examining major issues across the literatures and the global relevance of indigenous thought and art.  Indigenous writing addresses itself to issues such as the intertwined nature of past and present, the necessity of imagining other, future worlds in order to understand the one we live in today, and the presence of beauty in every life.  We'll read science fiction, memoir, poetry, literary fiction, and nonfiction, including Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, a collection of autobiographical essays edited by Wiradjuri writer Anita Heiss, Trail of Lightning, a science fiction novel by Ohkay Owingeh writer Rebecca Roanhorse, Braiding Sweetgrass, a nonfiction narrative about indigenous scientific knowledge by Pottawatomi writer Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Tu, a novel about Maori experiences in the Second World War by Maori writer Patricia Grace.  Assignments include periodic tests, two short papers, and a presentation.  This course counts for both Arts and Science and English Department diversity credit.