Memory, land and the magic of language deeply intertwine with life in the Native communities of the Pacific North and Northwest. American Indian literature attends to a particular experience in North America. While contemporary American Indian literatures are not synonymous with any oral traditions that inform them, they honor those traditions.
Contemporary Native literatures have sprung up like new growth after a forest fire. While some of the featured writers draw from older traditions, others show extensive global influences and write exclusively for the text. We will read, discuss and analyze a variety of literatures from traditional oral storytelling transposed into written form to contemporary hybrid forms like spoken word, rap and hip-hop. We will contemplate, discuss and write about the issues of race, gender and nationalism that these writers grappled with as they created creative and critical space through their works.