Genre: The Novel
Transpacific Indigenous Literatures
This course focuses on contemporary novels written by Indigenous authors of New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, the United States, and Canada (with supplemental poems, short stories, and films) with an emphasis on how Indigenous aesthetics and epistemologies influence the novel form. Each of the texts in this course draws upon Indigenous literary canons, languages, and practices, while addressing problems related to colonization, such as ecological destruction, militarization, displacement, and genocide. Critical essays will interrogate the categories of “Indigenous” and “transIndigenous” aesthetics, ecopoetics, land/ocean epistemologies, gastropolitics, law, language, and sexuality.
Students will be responsible for giving class presentations, reading approximately 250 pages per week, and writing a 15-page research paper.
Witi Ihimaera, The Whale Rider, 1995 (New Zealand)
Patricia Grace, Potiki, 1987 (New Zealand)
Tara June Winch, The Yield, 2019 (Australia)
Sia Figiel, They Who Do Not Grieve, 2003 (Samoa)
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Red: A Haida Manga, 2009 (Canada)
Zacharias Kunuk, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (film), 2001 (Canada)
Leslie Silko, Ceremony, 1977 (US)
Louise Erdrich, LaRose, 2016 (US)
Tommy Orange, There There, 2018 (US)