Spring 24: This course examines what Indigenous (Native American/American Indian) literatures, from creation stories to legal memorials to novels, reveal about Indigenous legal frameworks and ways of ordering the world. Where Euro-American law has long cast Indigenous people as lawless, this course reveals the historical importance and ongoing significance of Indigenous legal reasoning. The course also delves into how Native authors and legal scholars have responded to and analyzed US law. As Heidi Stark (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) puts it, Indigenous writings “dispel the sanctity of law, demonstrating that law is a set of stories.” We will approach law as story by studying literature from multiple tribal-national contexts and historical time periods. Readings will likely include the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Great Law of Peace, Angeline Boullie’s young adult novel Firekeeper’s Daughter, Layli Long Soldier’s experimental book of poetry Whereas, Louise Erdrich’s National Book Award-winning novel The Round House, William Apess’s autobiographical A Son of the Forest and legal memorial Indian Nullificaton for the White Man, Leslie Marmon Silko’s short story “Lullaby,” and selections from readings in Indigenous legal scholarship.

12:30 - 01:45
Professor Calcaterra

Course Explorer