English 411: Representations & Re-Presentations of American Indians

Course Description
This course will trace the collection of mental images, stereotypes, and imaginings based loosely on those people called “the Indian.”  We will also explore American Indians’ responses to those images, which run anywhere from the critical to the humorous.  Our exploration will begin with excerpts from the travel narratives of Christopher Columbus and John Smith and work its way through historical moments as Indians have moved between portrayals of the savage and the noble savage.  We will read, examine, and critique multiple genres and forms including art, photography, novels, poetry, and more.  Course requirements include a scrapbook, a learning journal, and a semester-long case study group project. 



Required Texts

Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr. The White Man's Indian
Mary Rowlandson Sovereignty and Goodness of God
William Apess Son of the Forest
Anna Lee Walters Ghost Singer
Gerald Vizenor Hotline Healers: An Almost Brown Novel
Nora Naranjo-Morse Mud Woman: Poems from the Clay

* Additional readings will be available online