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370-001 Native American Literature II: Mythic Realities

Instructor: Pascale Manning

I will tell you something about stories,

[he said]

They aren’t just entertainment.

Don’t be fooled.

They are all we have, you see,

all we have to fight off

illness and death.

 

You don’t have anything

if you don’t have stories.

 

(Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony)

 

The Indigenous literature we will read in this course explores the power and work of storytelling. Issues to be considered include: the relationship of an oral tradition to a written one, the intersections of the mythic and the mundane, finding a balance between tradition and modernity, literature as an act of resistance and recuperation, the interweaving of dreams and visions into narrative, identity and belonging, and the relationship of Indigenous literature to traditional Western narrative forms. 

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