HIST 306
Indigenous Narratives: From the Fourth World to the Global South Spring 2018
Division II Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed GBST 369 / COMP 369 / HIST 306 / ARAB 369
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In the late 20th century, world literature has witnessed a “boom” in indigenous literature. Many critics and historians describe this global re-emergence of the subaltern and the indigenous in terms of literary justice fostered by post-colonial studies and the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 1992. In this course, we will investigate this “indigenous boom” by reading novels and short stories from the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa from the 1970s to the present. Through these trans-regional and trans-historical peregrinations, our principal goal will be to examine and compare narratives about conquest, settler colonialism, colonial nationalism, indigeneity, sovereignty, indigenous epistemology and philosophy. At the same time, we will consider the following questions: How did pioneering indigenous women writers, such as the Laguna Pueblo Leslie Marmon Silko in the US and the Mayan playwrights of La Fomma in Chiapas, Mexico lead the feminist front of the indigenous literary renaissance? How did Palestinian folktales, Tashelhiyt Berber tales in Morocco, and Mayan dream narratives in Mexico and Guatemala produce narratives of decolonial history? What does the aesthetics of magical realism in Arabic, Quechua and Spanish, respectively, as evident in the works of the Kurdish writer Salim Barakat (Syria) and the mestizo writer José María Arguedas (Peru) tell us about the intersection of race, ethnicity, and indigenous epistemology? Ultimately, our goal is to trace how these texts contributed to global indigenous literature and the trans-historical and trans-geographical connections between them.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3852
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, several short response assignments (2- 3 pages each), final performance project, and final paper (5- to 7-pages)
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP or ARAB; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under GBST or HIST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 369 Division I COMP 369 Division I HIST 306 Division II ARAB 369 Division I
Attributes: ARAB Arabic Studies Electives
GBST Borders, Exiles + Diaspora Studies Electives

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