Fall 2016 Course: Literature of the Americas

Literature of the Americas examines the history of developments in the representation of indigenous peoples and other minorities in South, Central and North America.  We will begin with the Spanish invasion of Mexico (New Spain) and move to stories of encounters with Native Americans during the European colonization of New England.
Literature of the Americas
Professor David Mitchell
ENGL 1320.10
CRN: 17182
Tuesday/ Thursday 12:45-2:00 pm
1957 E Street 113

 Our investigations will bring us in contact with key narrative modes specific to the formation of American literature including: indigenous myths, stories of first contact, captivity narratives, witch trial testimonies, noble savage romances, slave narratives, anthropologies of the Harlem Renaissance, as well as Chicano/a and Native American resistance literatures.  Theories of racial subjugation will form the framework for our deliberations including: Robert Berkhoffer’s The White Man’s Indian, Barbara Harlow’s Resistance Literature, Houston Baker’s Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.  Our goal will be to recognize the significant counter-histories that challenge the dominant narrative of American nation states as forming in a “waste and howling wilderness.” 

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