Introduction to Indigenous Literatures
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 a range of contemporary works of science fiction, memoir, poetry, literary fiction, and nonfiction, including the celebrated poetry of 2019-2020 United States Poet Laureate and Muscogee Creek writer Joy Harjo in Conflict Resolutions for Holy Beings, the beautiful narratives of indigenous scientific knowledge by Pottawatomi writer Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass, the travel writing of Louise Erdrich in Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country, the ancestral memoirs of Esselen and Chumash writer Deborah Miranda, a collection of short stories by Hawaiian writer Kristiana Kahakauwila in This is Paradise, a collection of Maori and Pacifika stories edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti, and Indigenous futurisms through a collection of Indigenous science fiction, Walking the Clouds, edited by Anishinaabe scholar Grace Dillon.
Assignments include weekly reading reflections, short essays, and a presentation. This course counts for both Arts and Science and English Department diversity credit.