American Indian Literature: Resistance and Renewal

                        Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Salish)
T H I S      I S      I N D I A N      C O U N T R Y

Fall   2012 * TR  9:30 - 10:45  *  TLC  023


Course Info
Service Learning
Essential Understandings in Stud
Class Schedule
Final Project
Lecture Notes
Historical Trauma
Indian Humor
Campus Events

You may write a researched literary analysis (below), or form a small group (3 people at most), to create a multimedia project (written paper and visuals/sounds, etc. with an oral presentation. With this option, the written narrative would be roughly 5-6 pages.

How to Write a Literary Analysis

Write a 8-12 page (Works Cited page included) research essay on a significant problem or issue of the course/course readings.

Literary research essays are problem-based. In the works we are reading and viewing many problems surface for indigenous people. Native scholars give different emphases to various problems: "There are three issues around which native peoples are waging a resistance today, as in past centuries, to the neocolonialism and exploitation by the dominant sates of the Western Hemisphere: they are land, self-government, and indigenous rights" (Lobo and Talbot 346).

Guidelines for the literary research essay

APPROACH: The literary research essay depends on the identification of a significant problem or issue derived from the primary sources in the course reading. This problem or issue identified in the primary source should be interpreted by the writer using evidence from the primary source and supported by the critical and theoretical work of scholars. It is possible, but not necessary to use one or more primary sources, bearing in mind the need to have identified a solid connection between the works. Use two or more critical sources to support the interpretations or to contrast with them.

In addition to this foundation, the literary research essay will display these features:

1. context that supplies needed background information
2. central thesis that includes major problems/issues statements
3. paragraph organization according to the main features of the problem/issue stated in the expanded central thesis statement
4. evidence from the primary source predominates; evidence from the secondary source used to confirm, amplify, or contrast
5. provide significance of the problem or issue for Native people (Why does this issue matter to this group of people?) and significance of the issue for the larger world (Why does this issue matter to Americans in the general population? Why does this issue matter in the world?).
5. in-text citations and lists of works cited according to MLA format. Here is an online MLA guide:

Possible topics:
current debates/issues in AI literary criticism (see Native Lit journals)
resistance                        boarding school experience                           
historical witness
renewal                           post-modernism in Indian lit                            dialogics
ceremony                        oral tradition in contemporary texts                 decolonization                  humor                            
Two Spirit lit and traditions     importance of place/land and land ethic
trauma and healing            gender                          identity
combating stereotypes
family and community                                   irony

MLA Style Guide


Proposal and Paper Assignment

: Submit a formal, typed (double-spaced, no more than 3 pages) paper proposal in which you tell me your idea for your researched essay or group project: what problem or issue(s) do you plan to write about? Who are the members of your group? Who will do what?

Everyone needs to Include a summary of an article you've read on this issue, that includes:

Name of author, Title of article, Source (journal title), three major ideas from the article, and the potential specific usefulness of this article for the researched essay/project essay.