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CONTEMPORARY NATIVE AMERICAN AUTHORS (21 programs)
This series adds a novel dimension to multicultural, diversity, and literature curricula. Video classes are hosted by Dr. Jacquelyn Kilpatrick of Governors State University, and feature interactive discussion between students and major contemporary Native American authors. The authors provide insights to their fiction and poetry, and explain the impact of Native American philosophy, culture, and concerns on their work. Common discussion themes include the context in which the writers practice their craft and what it means to be a Native American author.
There are Twenty-one 59-minute programs in the series:
1. SERIES OVERVIEW
In this first program, students are introduced to series content and the course's studio class members.
2. GUEST AUTHOR A.A. CARR, Part One
Mr. Carr (Laguna/Navajo) is an author and successful filmmaker. Short segments of his documentary Laguna Women are used in these two class sessions. A few weeks after this telecourse was made, Navajo Code Talkers, a National Geographic documentary produced by Lena and Aaron Carr, won an Emmy for best documentary. Other topics include a discussion on the issue of "identity", a discourse on the impact of using a white protagonist in an Indian novel, and Carr's point of view with respect to the writer's "responsibility to build upon what other authors have done."
3. GUEST AUTHOR A.A. CARR, Part Two
4. GUEST AUTHOR BETTY LOUISE BELL, Part One
Dr. Bell (Cherokee) is a professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Intriguing topics covered in her interviews include "An Indian with a pen," the "The lost generation", and the power of oral storytelling and its relationship to Native American writing.
5 GUEST AUTHOR BETTY LOUISE BELL, Part Two
6. GUEST AUTHOR GAYLE ROSS
Ms. Ross is the direct descendent of Principle Chief John Ross, who was the leader of the Cherokee Nation at the time of the Removal ("Trail of Tears"). She is a very well-respected storyteller, an expert on oral tradition, and the author of several editions of Cherokee stories.
7. GUEST AUTHOR GERALD VIZENOR, Part One
Gerald Vizenor is Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California (Berkley). He has been described by LaVonne Brown Ruoff as a "compassionate trickster", a "formidable warrior in the word wars", a superb storyteller, and a keen observer of our often hypocritical modern society. Topics covered include further discussion on the "Trickster", the nature of violence, "shadow words", Vizenor's definition of what constitutes a meaningful question, and why an author's response to a question often takes the form of a story.
8. GUEST AUTHOR GERALD VIZENOR, Part Two
9. GUEST AUTHOR JAMES WELCH
James Welch (Blackfoot/Gros Ventre) is an internationally respected poet and novelist. Topics covered include the power of the word, the nature of the women in Winter in the Blood, and the importance of names and family history.
10. GUEST AUTHOR JOY HANJO
Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek) is a poet, scriptwriter, editor, filmmaker, and musician. She also holds the position of Professor of Literature at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque). Topics include the relationship between poetry and oral traditions, urban Indian poetry, and the art of teaching poetry.
11. GUEST AUTHOR LINDA HOGAN, Part One
Linda Hogan (Chickasaw) is a poet and novelist of immense talent. She teaches at the University of Colorado and is an environmental activist. She is a major force in the development of written Native American poetry, a well-respected fiction writer, an environmental essayist, and an award winning dramatist. Topics covered include the many uses of fiction and non-fiction writing.
12. GUEST AUTHOR LINDA HOGAN, Part Two
13. GUEST AUTHOR LOUIS OWENS, Part One
Dr. Owens is of mixed-blood descent (Choctaw/ Cherokee/ Irish/ Welsh/ Cajon) and currently serves as Professor of Literature at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque). Among his novels is Other Destinies, which is featured in one of the two tests for this course. In addition, he has penned numerous critical essays, articles and texts. Some of the topics covered include the commoditization of Native American identity, the "erotics of desire" and the concept of mixed-blood identity.
14. GUEST AUTHOR LOUIS OWENS, Part Two
15. GUEST AUTHOR LUCI TAPAHONSO
Luci Tapahonso (Navajo) is a professor at the University of Kansas (Lawrence) and a very well-respected poet in her own right. Topics include the matriarchal structure of Navajo culture, the nature of American Indian poetry, and the ways in which Navajo readers ? both children and adults ? can feel more empowered through literature targeted to them.
16. GUEST AUTHOR SHERMAN ALEXIE, Part One
In these classes, students discuss the works of Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coer d'Alene), a poet and novelist from the state of Washington. Topics include the politics of writing, a debate on the "cynical" and/or "funny" style of Alexie's writing, and a discussion of the responsibilities inherent in writing from an ethnic viewpoint.
17. GUEST AUTHOR SHERMAN ALEXIE, Part Two
18. GUEST AUTHOR SUSAN POWER, Part One
Susan Power (Dakota/German) is the author of the national best-seller, The Grass Dancer. Ms. Power is originally from Chicago, and holds both undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. Topics covered include Indian boarding schools, the religious impact of Christianity on American Indians, an author's relationship to "place", and the occasional aggressiveness of white "helpers." James Welch also makes a reappearance in this class via telephone.
19. GUEST AUTHOR SUSAN POWER, Part Two
20. GUEST AUTHOR THOMAS KING, Part One
Thomas King (Cherokee/Greek) has been described as a "Native American Kurt Vonnegut" and a "darkly funny Mark Twain". He is a former photo-journalist and currently works as a university professor, scriptwriter, novelist, and author of children's books. Topics covered include King's description of the differences between print and film media, comments on the making of this course's video, the definition of "meta-discourse", a discussion on stereotypes, a discussion on the uniquely feminist nature of Mr. King's work, and the nature of "Tricksters".
21. GUEST AUTHOR THOMAS KING, Part Two