I got to do a lecture on "Teaching Native American Literature" and actually taught Native American Literature this quarter...
It went well. Myself, I really like Native American Literature (big fan). It's some good reading first of all, and second of all, it's just a great way to get people talking about Native peoples.
This quarter I was teaching Introduction to Native American Literature. We talked a lot about de-colonization, history, Federal Indian policy and Indian humor. And by the end of the quarter my students were actually laughing at my jokes, even the Star Wars ones!
At the end of the quarter I traveled up to Northern California to do a lecture on "What is Native American Literature and How do we teach it?"
Very carefully. Ba dum dum.
In reality, for me, the basic concepts of Native American literature are pretty "simple" (ahem, is anything with Native peoples ever simple? How many times do I find myself saying "well that's a good question, and the answer is... complicated.") - but here goes.
Cutcha's basic concepts of Native American Literature:
Setting/ Place/ Time/ Regionalism
And of course "here we are - we're still here - Indians are still alive - Indians are doing things - Indians are at the Red Lobster... well Indians are probably at the Cheesecake Factory, cause we got Casinos and are ROLLING in it!)*
*Disclaimer for those who haven't taken my class... not every Indian has a casino, and those Indians who do have a casino not every one of them makes any money at all. Lots of Indians are still just as poor as you, or even poorer. There is a great diversity in Indian country - and this includes those who are rolling in the casino dough. I am not one of the casino dough Indians myself, though I am always open to being adopted by one.
Cutcha Risling Baldy is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University. She received her PhD in Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis. She is also a writer, mother, volunteer Executive Director for the Native Women's Collective and is currently re-watching My Name is Earl...
(5) Top Posts
On telling Native people to just "get over it" or why I teach about the Walking Dead in my Native Studies classes... *Spoiler Alert!*
Hokay -- In which I lead a presentation on what happens when you Google "Native American Women" and critically analyze the images or "Hupas be like dang where'd you get that dentalium cape girl? Showing off all your money! PS: Suck it Victorias Secret"
In which we establish that there was a genocide against Native Americans, yes there was, it was genocide, yes or this is why I teach Native Studies part 3 million
5 Reasons I Wear "Indian" Jewelry or Hupas...we been bling-blingin' since Year 1
Pope Francis decides to make Father Junipero Serra a saint or In Which I Tell Pope Francis he needs to take a Native Studies class like stat
I need to read more Native blogs!
A few that I read...