Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENGL 250 - U.S. Indigenous Literatures

Credits: 5
A focus on the literary, oral, and cultural traditions of U.S. indigenous communities, including Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. Course involves critically reading and interpreting important literary genres including non/fiction, drama, poetry, autobiography, critical essays, and epistolary works which can also be situated in other cultural narrative genres such as songs/chants/music, dance narratives, film and documentary. Additionally, this course incorporates a study of historical, political, and cultural texts to contextualize the works. Examines how Native American writers combine tradition and contemporary ways to develop innovative forms of expression.

Enrollment Requirement: Eligible for ENGL 99  or instructor consent.

Satisfies Requirement: Humanities/Fine Arts/English and Diversity

Course Outcomes:
Students who successfully complete this class will be able to:

  1. Comprehend significant political, historical, and geographical contexts that generate Native American works. Understand how the written literature has been shaped by colonial contact and by external cultural and political forces while understanding how Native American writers have continued to incorporate elements from their traditional cultures into their work as a way of resisting assimilation and/or cultural extermination.
  2. Distinguish the relevance and importance between genres such as autobiography, non/fiction, drama, poetry, songs/chants/music, dance narratives, critical essays, epistolary works and/or the role that crossing these genres plays in this literature.
  3. Contextualize the nexus that emerges between sexualities, disabilities, class, genders, blood quantum laws/practices within the broader North American cultures.
  4. Articulate the transforming circumstances, definitions, and debates that surround the construction of varied Native American identities and nations as informed by the scholarly discourse, and external influences such as colonial narratives/depictions, the media, and state/government decrees and practices (i.e., federal recognition of tribes in the U.S., anti-miscegenation laws, etc.). Develop a critical eye toward Native American literature as depicted by non-Native Americans.
  5. Participate in one or more of the following: engagement in service learning and collaborations with neighboring native communities (i.e., Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Snoqualmie, Nisqually) and more broadly throughout Pacific Northwest, mythic archetypes/narratives (i.e., the trickster, hero quests, creation stories), religious beliefs (i.e., role of ceremonial practice in healing and identity formation, the Ghost Dance), adaptation of the oral tradition (i.e., reflected in contemporary poetry), the built and natural environments, language and orally, stereotyping and prejudice, folktales and the role of the storyteller and the oral tradition, the sacred and secular, assimilation and appropriation, political and social activism, the Native American Renaissance, among others.
  6. Incorporate close reading, critical analysis, and writing projects as tools for synthesizing Native American literature and discourse.
  7. Cultivate an awareness and appreciation of the complex interplay between social and political forces, the traditions and customs of particular Native American nations, and the imaginations of individual writers.
  8. Successfully complete written responses to the assigned literature and readings.
  9. Participate effectively, demonstrating critical reflection.

Program Outcomes
Demonstrate college-level reading skills by summarizing, analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing, and evaluating college texts; and develop an awareness of the approaches writers use for different audiences, genres, and rhetorical situations.

College-wide Outcomes
  • Critical Thinking - Critical thinking finds expression in all disciplines and everyday life. It is characterized by an ability to reflect upon thinking patterns, including the role of emotions on thoughts, and to rigorously assess the quality of thought through its work products. Critical thinkers routinely evaluate thinking processes and alter them, as necessary, to facilitate an improvement in their thinking and potentially foster certain dispositions or intellectual traits over time.

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