Native American Culture: Literature, Anthropology, Spiritualitiy

Titel: Native American Culture: Literature, Anthropology, Spirituality
Dozent(in): Prof. Dr. Ken Boas
Termin: 16.-19.06. und 24.-26.06., jeweils 19-22 Uhr Einführungsveranstaltung: Do 8.5., 19.15 Uhr, Raum 4142
Gebäude/Raum: 2127a

Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung:

In the last three decades, there has been a great renewal and continuance and remembering of Native American culture. Native American life and culture is immeasurable centuries old—perhaps 30,000 years or more, and its roots are deep in the land—too deep for a mere five centuries of European influence to upturn in any lasting, complete and irrevocable way.

Native American people have been accustomed to remembering their histories and their ways of life through intricate time-proven processes of storytelling. In remembering, there is strength and continuance and renewal throughout the generations. Yet this remembering and storytelling process has been problematic for Western readers for many years. As a result, it, like its people, has been marginalized, alienated from mainstream culture, and consistently understood as inferior. This is changing radically as the American university is embracing Native American literature as an important and significant part of our literary and cultural history. American Indian literature and the representations of American Indian culture found in literature are not similar to western literature because the basic assumptions about the universe and, therefore, the basic reality experienced by tribal peoples and westerners are not the same. This difference has confused non-Indian students for centuries, because they have been unable or unwilling to grant this difference and to proceed in terms of it.

This two week seminar would attempt to examine these differences and appreciate the rich and diverse literature, culture and spirituality that emerges from the Native American perspective. The seminar will consist of readings from Native American culture, including autobiography, essays on cultural anthropology, fiction, poetry, and political commentary concerning the place of the Native American in mainstream culture, both historically and in the present day. The readings would be primarily from the point of view of Native American voices and not those of non-native anthropologists and critics, no matter how sympathetic. However, the course will include a few selected readings by non-natives that will be the subject of Native American criticism and censure. The seminar will attempt to open up a few doors into the space inhabited by Native American culture and its intellectual world view

Bei organisatorischen Fragen zum Seminarablauf wenden Sie sich bitte an Frau Alma Durán-Merk (Email:

Vorkenntnis für die Lehrveranstaltung:

Das Seminar ist hauptsächlich für Studenten der Europäischen Ethnologie/Volkskunde im Hauptstudium gedacht, steht aber grundsätzlich auch für Studenten anderer Fachrichtungen offen.

Da das Seminar auf Englisch abgehalten wird, sind gute Englischkenntnisse erforderlich!

Literatur zur Lehrveranstaltung:

Wird per Rundmail bekannt gegeben.

weitere Informationen zu der Lehrveranstaltung:

empfohlenes Studiensemester der Lehrveranstaltung: Hauptstudium
Fachrichtung Lehrveranstaltung: Europäische Ethnologie/Volkskunde
Nummer der Lehrveranstaltung: 0
Dauer der Lehrveranstaltung: keine Angabe
Typ der Lehrveranstaltung: HS - Hauptseminar
Semester: SS 2008