AMCULT 328 - Native American Literature
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:

This class satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirement for English concentrators.

May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

All Americans know something about Native Americans — at least they think they do. Stereotypes abound and, for most of our history, most of them have been vicious. But all stereotypes are damaging to the people they include, even the most benign and supposedly positive. Where vicious stereotypes would silence and discredit those they target, stereotypes of the supposedly benign kind are all too ready to speak for them, preempting their own efforts to speak the truth as they see it.

Native Americans have been publishing their own writing in English since 1772. In focusing almost exclusively on twentieth-century novels, this course will consider only a small part of the large, rich, and various body of the literature, both oral and written, produced by the indigenous peoples of our country. Each of our readings will, in its own way, powerfully contradict the usual ways of imagining and thinking about “Indians.”

The course will begin with an extended look at a work which is neither fictive nor entirely Native-authored, John Neidhardt’s Black Elk Speaks. This book will help us to identify certain crucial problems in the reading and interpretation of texts infused with Native American cultural values and emerging from Native American experience, from a perspective outside those values and that experience. Subsequent readings will include, in this order, the following novels: D’Arcy McNickle’s The Surrounded, N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, James Welch’s The Death of Jim Loney, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine and also Erdrich’s Tracks, James Welch’s Fools Crow.

Each class will begin with an oral presentation by a panel of students. Class sessions will operate as much as possible as discussions interspersed with mini-lectures by the instructor. Students will write weekly reaction papers, except during those weeks when they are giving an oral presentation. Class attendance is important and will be recorded. Graded exercises will include in-class essays and short papers.

AMCULT 328 - Native American Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

There are multiple editions available on the used market of _Black Elk Speaks_, _House Made of Dawn_, _The Death of Jim Loney_, _Ceremony_, and _Love Medicine_. These will have different paginations from those we'll be using in class, which will be the newest republications of these texts, with the exception of _Ceremony_, where we'll NOT be using the new "Penguin Classic" edition of 2006, but the original Penguin, which is still in print and slightly cheaper.
ISBN: 0803283857
Black Elk speaks : being the life story of a holy man of the Oglala Sioux, Author: John G. Neihardt ; foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr. ; with illustrations by Standing Bear ; essays by Alexis N. Petri and Lori Utecht., Publisher: University of Nebraska Press New ed. 2004
ISBN: 0826304699
The surrounded, Author: D'Arcy McNickle ; afterword by Lawrence W. Towner., Publisher: University of New Mexico Press 7th paperb 1992
ISBN: 0072434201
House made of dawn, Author: N. Scott Momaday., Publisher: Perennial Classics 1st Perenn 1999
ISBN: 0143105183
The death of Jim Loney, Author: James Welch ; introduction by Jim Harrison., Publisher: Penguin Books 2008
ISBN: 0061787426
Love medicine, Author: Louise Erdrich., Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Definitive 2009
ISBN: 0060972459
Tracks, Author: Erdrich, Publisher: Harper
ISBN: 0140089373
Fools crow, Author: James Welch., Publisher: Penguin Books 1987
ISBN: 0140086838
Ceremony, Author: Leslie Marmon Silko., Publisher: Penguin Books [Nachdr.] 1986
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for AMCULT 328 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)