(ETHN 201)


Class NOTES /

    Last Updated: 18 Jan. 2018    


--To the Most RECENT "Class Notes" Updates--
• For TU, 1/22: Kidwell & Velie: Chpt. 5-7 (83-129)

• For TH, 1/24: Kidwell & Velie: Chpt. 8 (131-141)

Wile E. Coyote—the Trickster
as Warner Bros. cartoon?

NOTE: I am intentionally brief, even abbreviatory, in the following NOTES because I mean them to function as reminders & sources of review rather than to serve in lieu of coming to class: they DON'T. However, this page has a further usefulness: by "Commentary," I mean that some points in these class notes are expanded upon (and re-organized) in ways that our limited class time—and my rather manic teaching style—disallowed. . . .



 TU, Jan. 8th:: Syllabus, etc.; incl. my Native American History "Outline" (PDF)

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 TH, Jan. 10th:: Healy's "American Indians" chapter (my PDF summary); Burns poem:


How do you do?
  No, I am not Chinese.
No, not Spanish.
  No, I am American Indi—Native American.
No, not from India.
  No, not Apache.
No, not Navajo.
  No, not Sioux.
No, we are not extinct.
  Yes, Indin.
  So that's where you got those high cheekbones.
Your great grandmother, huh?
  An Indian Princess, huh?
Hair down to there?
  Let me guess. Cherokee?
Oh, so you've had an Indian friend?
  That close?
Oh, so you've had an Indian lover?
  That tight?
Oh, so you've had an Indian servant?
  That much?
Yeah, it was awful what you guys did to us.
  It's real decent of you to apologize.
No, I don't know where you can get peyote.
  No, I don't know where you can get Navajo rugs real cheap.
No, I didn't make this. I bought it at Bloomingdales.
  Thank you. I like your hair too.
I don't know if anyone knows whether or not Cher is really Indian.
  No, I didn't make it rain tonight.
Yeah. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
  Uh-huh. Yeah. Spirituality. Uh-huh. Mother
Earth. Yeah. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
  No, I didn't major in archery.
Yeah, a lot of us drink too much.
  Some of us can't drink enough.
This ain't no stoic look.
  This is my face.

—Diane Burns, c. 1989

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 TU, Jan. 15th:: begin Kitwell & Velie (K&V)

• Note that I have a PowerPoint for the Preface & Chpt. 1 on CANVAS (Kidwell&Velie--Preface&Chpt1.pptx, in "00 INTRO MATERIALS" folder)

EXTRA CREDIT Opportunity:
• Film screening: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World    -={Facebook event link}=-
—TH, January 17, 2019 at 6:00-7:30 PM, UNL Nebraska Union Auditorium
—"A popcorn bar will be available during the film, and a panel discussion will follow."
10 extra credit points possible, for 2-or-page summary/response (bring hard copy next TU or TH)

Regarding Deloria's joke about Custer being a
"well-dressed" fellow at the Little Big Horn—
a photo of the neck tag of my ARROW shirt

"I'm glad Native American Studies doesn't have to
combat stereotypes anymore!"

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 TH, Nov. 17th:: [Substitute: Lydia Presley]

Wounded Knee, the vid!

        —Works Cited entry for today's video:

Wounded Knee. Dir. Stanley Nelson. Part 5 of We Shall Remain. American Experience/WGBH International, 2009. DVD.

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 TU, Jan. 22nd:: K&V, continued

• Note that I have an outline of Chpt. 2-3 on CANVAS (K&Voutline--CH2&3.docx, in "00 INTRO MATERIALS" folder)

"Turtle Island"?! (Kidwell and Velie 25)

Note on the TRICKSTER archetype/NatAmer deity-motif (K&V 32-33, 108-109): In NatAmer folklore/myth in general, Coyote is the most common Trickster, a cosmic & natural force blessed with both sheer animal "stupidity" and uncanny animal cunning. In Lakota stories, for instance, he is forever losing his tail, getting chopped up into bits, and generally making a mess of the cosmic order. But he always comes back to life, and the world is better off for his shenanigans. (Also prominent as a Trickster in Lakota myth is Iktomi, the spider. In the Pacific Northwest, Raven [or Crow, or even Blue Jay] is Trickster.) The function of these tricksters has long been debated. My own reading relies on Jungian psychology, Bakhtinian dialogism, and ecology/ecocriticism. Jung reads the trickster as an aspect of the Shadow archetype—that "dark" complex of the unconscious psyche whose real role is to make the ego realize that it is out of balance, through its sheer repression of that "dark" side. The literary theorist Bakhtin claimed that the dominant social discourse towards order and reason necessarily entails a "polyphonic" (multi-voiced) reaction, in myth, literature, and society itself. Regarding this latter, he points to various cultural manifestations of "Carnival," wherein the common folk go "crazy" in an established ritual that is directed against the (repressive) social order. (Cf. Mardi Gras!) Finally, in a purely naturalist/ecological sense, the Trickster is "raw" instinctual animal, always erupting into "civilized" (and repressed) human consciousness as a magical & numinous force—again, as a corrective against an oh-so-blind ego-faith in order and rationalism: a reminder at last that WE are animals, that cosmic evolution needs entropy and chaos, that to remain in any blithe condition of stasis is a psychological and cultural death.

Wile E. Coyote—the Trickster
as Warner Bros. cartoon?

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 TH, Jan. 24th:: K&V, finish-up!?

"Take a Picture with a Real Indian" —James Luna performance (2010):
See K&V 126-127 on Native performance art, of which this a good example!

"For Anna Mae Pictou Aquash" —Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice:
See K&V 128 for a brief discussion of this poem/song that I've taught in my Native Lit classes.

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 Course Syllabus/Schedule

 TCG's Nat. Amer. Authors & Readings Links

 TCG's Native American Lit Courses: VIDEO Resources

 TCG's Native American MEMES

 TCG's Great "Indian" Moments in Pop Culture

 TCG''s Native American Reading List


ETHN 201 Class NOTES/Assignments Page--Spring 2019

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