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PS "Power and the Word in Native American Literature"


Dozent(in): Monika Hottelet, M.A.
Termin: Dienstag 12 s.t.-13.30 Uhr
Gebäude/Raum: 1003


Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung:

The traditional reverence for the power of thought and the word is an integral part of American Indian cultures. Even today it is often linked with a deep understanding of the spiritual nature of human beings and the world they live in. Therefore literature (oral and written) has always occupied a place of central importance in Native America.

In this seminar, we will focus on decoding Native American literary language and try to identify aesthetic modes and thematic structures that are closely connected with traditional tribal cultures. Tracing references to American Indian systems of thought through imagery, symbolism, mythology etc., we will develop a sense for meaning and regenerative power in and through these texts for the individual and his/her society.

Following a suggestion of Paula Gunn Allen, we will start off with contemporary works by N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko (see below). Then we will proceed on to older and "classic" texts like autobiographies, personal narratives, and oral literature, concentrating regionally on Southwestern and Prairie tribes. Finally, we will return to the first two texts by Momaday and Silko and reconsider them in the light of the knowledge acquired during our course.

Short tests about the texts will be held throughout. At the first or second session be prepared for the first one about Ceremony and The Way to Rainy Mountain.


Vorkenntnis für die Lehrveranstaltung:

Anforderungen für den Scheinerwerb: regular attendance, active participation, short oral report, term paper

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: passed exam of the introductory course


Literatur zur Lehrveranstaltung:

Allen, Paula Gunn, ed. Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1990.

Evers, Larry, ed. The South Corner of Time: Hopi, Navajo, Papago, Yaqui Tribal Literature. Sun Tracks 6. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 1983.

Linderman, Frank B. Pretty-Shield: Medicine Woman of the Crows. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1972.

Momaday, N. Scott. The Way to Rainy Mountain. U of New Mexico P, 2003.

Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin, 1986.

Additional reading material will be made available in the form of master copies before the semester starts.


weitere Informationen zu der Lehrveranstaltung:

empfohlenes Studiensemester der Lehrveranstaltung: Grundstudium
Fachrichtung Lehrveranstaltung: Amerikanistik (Magister), Englisch (Lehramt)
Nummer der Lehrveranstaltung: n/b
Beginn der Lehrveranstaltung: 25. April 2006
Dauer der Lehrveranstaltung: 2 SWS
Typ der Lehrveranstaltung: PS - Proseminar
Semester: SS 2006