Advanced Seminars in Native American Studies
11S : 10A
In 11S, Bear Clan Texts. Wherever Ursidae Carnivora finds a natural habitat, the indigenous peoples of these geographies honor and acknowledge the Bear in particular ways, central to individual and cultural expression. This course engages various texts that feature Bear imagery in traditional stories, songs, and ritual representations—all vehicles that transmit both sacred and practical knowledge. We use readings in mythopoetics, performance narratives, nature writing, some early ethnographic accounts and recordings, environmental literature, and the contemporary writing of several Native American authors. Discussions about the tribal significance of the Bear are a means to examine ontological distinctions between human self and animal, and contemporary notions of human consciousness within the natural world. We also discuss how concepts of “wildness” and “wilderness,” and ideas about “control” and “freedom” are expressed within imaginative and geographical spaces.
Open to Juniors and Seniors with written permission of the instructor.
Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Palmer. (Will fulfill NAS 81 requirements in 11S).
Last Updated: 7/29/10