American Indian Literature and Cultures

English 558, Summer 1997

Professor Laura Arnold


Reed Homepage

Laura Arnold's Homepage

E-mail Laura:


Native American Resources on the Internet


Native American Electronic Text Index

Glossary of Indian Names (Places, Persons, Tribes, etc.)


The Sioux

The Pueblos

The Chippewa

The Pomos

The Spokane

Oregon Tribes



Final Paper Topic

Electronic Citations

Book and Article Citations

The Doyle O.W.L. (Reed's On-line Writing Lab)


Background: Center for World Indigenous Studies

Raven gif: Center for World Indigenous Studies

Haida gif: Dover's North American Indian Motifs CD-Rom


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will examine American Indian literature and cultures with a particular attention to the Pacific Northwest; we will also consider literature from the Plains, the Southwest, and the Midwest. For each region we will consider contemporary literary production (novels, poems, autobiographies, and essays) in light of both the oral tradition and the artistic and cultural traditions of the tribes living in that region. We will investigate theoretical issues central to the field of American Indian literature, such as what constitutes "Indian" literature, who has intellectual property rights over texts, how literature can aid cultural resistance, and how one can read, write about, and teach American Indian literature in a noncolonizing way. In order to understand the diversity of approaches to American Indian cultural production we will read critical articles from disciplines such as folklore, history, literary criticism, anthropology, and art history.


Office and Phone #: Vollum 307, (503) 771-1112 x7329

Office Hours for Week 3: Tuesday 5-6 in Vollum 120 and by


Class Time: Tuesdays 6-9pm, June 17th-July 29th

Room: CC120



Week 1: Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks

Week 2: Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony

Week 3: Louise Erdrich, The Bingo Palace

Week 4: Greg Sarris, Weaving the Dream: Mabel McKay

Week 5: Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues

Week 6: Craig Lesley, Winterkill

Week 7: Harper's Anthology of Native American Poetry

  • Artwork/Music/Folklore: selected by people in the class.
  • Article: Introduction to the Harper's Anthology


Powwow Dates (Optional):

June 21-22 Delta Park Powwow & Encampment (Portland, OR)

(503) 788-9360

June 28-29 PI-Ume-Sha Days (Warm Springs Reservation: Powwow, Museum, & Casino)

(503) 553-1161