English 450

ENGL 450
Native American Literature

Catalog Entry

ENGL 450. Native American Literature
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: CORE 101 and CORE 102

Study of various tribal literatures, including oral texts and transitional and contemporary works in English by Native American authors.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course surveys the contributions of Native American authors to the literature of North America. Through the study of a wide variety of texts by indigenous authors, the course examines the various genres in which these authors work, develops an understanding of the contrast between certain key aspects of tribal epistemology and Western thought, and endeavors to erase essentialized stereotypes of Native Americans, replacing those stereotypes with stories of indigenous people as viable historical and political peoples and as speaking subjects, narrating their own stories in a modern world.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

ENGL 450 uses a wide variety of instructional strategies which may include any number of the following: lecture; discussion; web-enhanced instruction; collaborative group work; individual or group student reports to elucidate primary texts or pertinent historical, biographical and cultural contexts; individual or group student creative presentations on course material; informal writing activities such as in-class focused writing exercises, readers’ logs, journals or discussion questions; audio-visual resources on literary works and authors as well as pertinent contexts; library instructional workshops to reinforce students’ information literacy and knowledge of resources available; peer writing groups on drafts of essays; individual or group conferences with the instructor on drafts of essays.


Goals and Objectives of Course

The fundamental goal of this course is to provide students with a contextual understanding of Native American literature. To that end, students who have successfully completed this course will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of significant issues in traditional and contemporary Native American literature;
  • demonstrate an understanding of Native American literature as a genre, in its own right, as well as to demonstrate the ways indigenous literature both is and is not a part of American literary history;
  • effectively express this understanding in both written and oral formats.


Assessment Measures

ENGL 450 uses a variety of assessment measures, which may include a number of the following:

  • informal writing activities such as readers’ logs, journals and discussion questions;
  • in-class student oral presentations and recitations;
  • reading quizzes and examinations on the assigned readings;
  • in-class or take-home essay examinations on the assigned readings;
  • researched or non-researched essays on the literary works and authors examined in the course;
  • research project and/or final essay focused on a single work or several works examined in the course;
  • short critical essays examining individual literary works within an historical, biographical, cultural or literary context;
  • short critical essays using specific literary strategies to analyze a literary work;
  • short critical essays to analyze the formal qualities of particular literary works;
  • short imaginative/creative pieces that imitate a literary work or style or that extend or revise the point of view of a literary work.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

October, 2009