Introduction to Indigenous Literatures: Stories, Land, and Sovereignty—Diversity Intensive

Section 01
Jaquetta Shade-Johnson
Course Description

Cross listed with PEA_ST 2490-01

This course looks at the proliferation of Maori, Hawaiian, Aboriginal Australian, and Native North American writing, focusing primarily on contemporary Native writing since 2000 and examining major issues across literatures and the global relevance of Indigenous thought and art. Indigenous literary expression addresses 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 writing of 2019-2021 United States Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo (Muscogee Nation) in Poet Warrior; the beautiful narratives of Indigenous scientific knowledge by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) in Braiding Sweetgrass; the travel writing of Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians) in Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country; narratives of the natural world by Chris Tueton and Hastings Shade in Cherokee Earth Dwellers (Cherokee Nation); and additional contemporary Indigenous literary and film selections. Assignments include weekly reading reflections, short essays, experiential learning activities, and a discussion leader activity.