ENGL 309 B1: Aboriginal Literature: Literary Movements

C. Bracken

Robert Warrior argues that "many of the dynamics" of Indigenous literary production "remain constant across the arc of history." He proposes "synchronicity" as a tactic for reconstructing an unbroken Indigenous literary tradition. "Thinking in terms of synchronicity," he says, "opens new vistas for viewing the history of Native writing as unified." This course will seek out synchronicities by undertaking a historical survey of Indigenous writing in English from the eighteenth the twenty-first century. Most of the required texts foreground the self-fashioning of the political agent, recording an author's or a character's effort to adopt an activist subject position within a settler literary form. Historically, the self-fashioning of the aboriginal activist upsets the boundary between fiction and non-fiction. The self-reflective diarists and autobiographers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries morph into the central characters and first-person narrators of late twentieth and early twenty-first century fiction.

TEXTS:

Apess, On Our Own Ground

Erdrich, The Plague of Doves

Long Soldier, Whereas

McNickle, Wind from an Enemy Sky

Talayesva, Sun Chief

Welch, Winter in the Blood

Winnemucca, Life among the Piutes