ENGL 496: Seminar in World Literature

Community-based Maya Theater in Xocen

Community-based Maya theater in Xocen, Yucatán

Welcome to the homepage for my seminar Indigenous Literatures of the Americas. Below you will find the basic course description, as well as links to the course policies and the course calendar.

Course Description: In this seminar students will consider Native American and Indigenous literatures from a perspective that encompasses the Western Hemisphere as a whole. Readings will note the similarities and difference that exist across these literary traditions while paying particular attention to the roles that conquest, colonization, and the introduction of the letter have played in the evolution of Native American and Indigenous literary traditions.

The first half of the semester will focus on literatures of the Maya area (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador) to give students a thorough grounding in a particular non-Western tradition that had its own forms of reading and writing well before the arrival of Europeans. With this background, in the second half of the semester we will expand our focus to include Native American and Indigenous texts from throughout the hemisphere, analyzing how literary activism has shaped movements for sovereignty and self-determination. We will pay particular attention to Indigenous emigration from Latin America to the US and interactions between Indigenous and Native American Cultural groups here in the context of what Chadwick Allen describes as a “Trans-Indigenous” framework that emphasizes Native American and Indigenous unity in the global environment.

Course Policies

Course Calendar