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									English 372                                                                               Michael Wilson
Intro to Native Literature: Short Fiction                                               Office: Curtin 495
T Th 1:00-4:30 pm                                                                 Office phone: 229-4839
Curtin 124                                                                      Email:
WinterM 2003                                                                     Office Hours: After Class

This course will survey short fiction by American Indian writers past and present. We will try to
read about 45 stories in the three weeks of WinteriM, divided into different thematic sections.
Students will also read a history of Indian peoples to give context and background to the stories
we examine.

Required Anthologies

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown
Spider Woman's Granddaughters, edited by Paula Gunn Allen
Talking Leaves, edited by Craig Lesley
Earth Song, Sky Spirit, ed. Clifford E. Trafzer
The Man to Send Rain Clouds, ed. Kenneth Lincoln
A required course packet is available at the Copy Center in the Student Union – Available January 6th.

Students must have access to email on a daily basis. You will be subscribed to an electronic mailing list
for the class: This list will contain response writing from the class, updates,
assignments, and other information.

● Keep a copy of everything you send to me for credit.
● One email for each response. Write the name of the story/chapter, date of the class (not the due date),
and the number “372” in the subject line.

There are two types of assignments in this course. Do not write about a story or a chapter until we have
discussed them in class:

        1) Story Responses. Around 150 words. Due two days after class discussions. Provide an
        insightful and interesting (to you) commentary about a particular scene, character, theme,
        language, or some other aspect of the story. You may use your own insight thoughts about a
        story, or any insightful idea presented in class either by the teacher or a classmate.
                 Insight: penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeing into inner character
                     or underlying truth. Truths provided by the story that are not especially obvious on
                     first glance.

                1) During class discussions and group work, we will come up with insights into the
                    story that you can and should use in your story responses.
                2) Examples of how a story gives insights:
                        a. The story challenges a world view (ideology) that the reader finds troubling.
                        b. The story supports a particular world view that the reader finds troubling.
                        c. The story uses particular devices to make the story interesting: buddy motif,
                            melodrama, leitmotif, or other standard devices that relate to a general
                            theme in the story, e.g., metaphors, and similes.
                        d. A clear example of what the story “says” about a particular social or political
                        e. The reason a write might be using an unusual plot structure to

                3) The following are not good responses.
                        a. Plot summary. Telling what happens in the story. We will discuss what
                            happens in each story, but the events in the story themselves are obvious to
                            a reader.
                        b. “The hidden meaning.” There are many meanings to any event or story. If
                            they are “hidden,” it’s only because he haven’t yet made connections.
                        c. “What the author is trying to say.” The author either says something or
                            doesn’t. We really have no way of knowing what an author was or was not
                            “trying” to do.

        2) Chapter responses: Around 150 words. Due two days after class discussions. Write a
            sentence from the chapter at the top of your response. Then explain the context of the
            sentence in relation to the rest of the chapter.

        3) Short Paper. Students are also required to write more formal two-page paper. The most
        important aspect of these papers is a narrowly focused, insightful commentary about a story and a
        good, strong topic sentences. Email these responses to by Wednesday,
        January 15, 2002. The short papers count for 20 percent of your course grade. They are due the
        Wednesday after we finish the topic.


Students will receive “incompletes” in the cases of documented health emergencies or other catastrophic

Late papers will be accepted only with prior approval from the instructor. Papers turned in late without
prior approval will be returned without an assigned grade.


Academic honesty is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the
academic community must be confident that each person’s work has been responsibly and honorably
acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest
whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards academic dishonesty as an
extremely serious matter, with serious consequences that range from probation to expulsion. When in
doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, or collaboration, consult with your instructor. Students
who engage in plagiarism will receive a failing grade for the course.
Assigned Readings

Introduction                               "Uncle Tony's Goat" MTSRC
Jan 2                                      "The Warriors" SWG
"Only Approved Indians Can Play"           BMH – Chapter 6

Topic: Good and Evil                       Jan 13
                                           “New Shoes” Packet
Jan 3                                      "Raven in the Eye of the Storm" Packet
"The Old Marriage" TL                      "Sunshine Boy" Packet
"Lucy, Oklahoma, 1911" ESSS                BMH – Chapter 7
"As It Was In the Beginning" TL
BMH – Introduction, Chapter 1              Topic: Family and Community
                                           Jan 14
Topic: Indian and non-Indian Relations     “Every Little Hurricane” Packet
                                           "The Approximate Size of My Favorite Tumor"
Jan 6                                      ESSS
"Man to Send Rain Clouds" MTSRC            "Queen of Diamonds" TL
"A Geronimo Story" MTSRC                   BMH – Chapter 11
"Bravura:" MTSRC
BMH – Chapter 2                            Jan 15
                                           "Private Property" Packet
Jan 7                                      "Aunt Moon's Young Man" TL
"Adventures of an Indian Princess" ESSS    "From Aboard the Night Train" ESSS
"Avian Messiah and Mistress Media" ESSS    BMH – Chapter 12
"American Horse" Packet
BMH – Chapter 3                            Topic: The Oral Tradition
                                           Jan 16
Jan 8                                      "Killing of a New Mexican State Trooper"
"The Bingo Van" TL                         Packet
"Summer Girl" TL                           "Tony's Story" MTSRC
"An American In New York" SWG              "The Killing of the State Cop" MTSRC
BMH – Chapter 4                            "Blood Stone" Packet
                                           BMH – Chapter 18
Jan 9
“A Good Story” Packet                      Jan 17
"Squatters" Packet                         "Ritual and Renewal: Keres Traditions in Leslie
"Grace" SWG"                               Silko's 'Yellow Woman'" Packet
BMH – Chapter 5                            "Evil Kachina Steals Yellow Woman" SWG
Topic: Family                              "Sun Steals Yellow Woman" SWG
                                           "Whirlwind Man Steals Yellow Woman" SWG
Jan 10                                     "Yellow Woman" SWG
”The Hyatt, the Maori, and the Yanamamo”   BMH – Chapter 19

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