Just as the major figures of modernism — T. Eliot, Ezra Pound, et al. Thus, as one prepares to teach a unit on Native American texts, one must first become acquainted with the history of the people who are writing them. An intimate knowledge of the historical contexts in which, and from which, these novels arise is crucial. Literature is influenced by history and history informs the movements from which literature is birthed.
Beginning in the s, a proliferation of Native American voices began to rise into the public consciousness.
While this recovery seemingly appears in isolation, it is, in fact a resurrection of storytelling traditions that have existed for centuries before and after the arrival of Europeans on North American soil. Native voices resound; however, American literary society does not always listen. Termination slated Native Americans to be essentially bused into urban areas and assimilated into typical Anglo-American lifestyles and mores.
An overwhelming failure, termination splintered families, placed Native Americans into housing facilities also used to house recently released felons and provided limited and ineffective job training and placement for those forced into these bewildering urban environments.
Suffering the same kinds of trauma experiences by all soldiers at war, the Indian veterans had the added pains of discrimination and, more crucially, the eventual return to an Indian world where identity had been difficult for a long time. Later, Second Wave Native American writers such as Sherman Alexie, albeit indirectly, spring forth from the same vein. Through determination, perseverance, and sheer force of will, the official policy to replace termination with self-determination was passed into law in the s. Though the Office of Economic Opportunity OEO created years before addressed this wish the establishment policy was not directly for or about American Indians.
The OEO, however, signaled the beginning of the use of the terminology of self-determination for sovereign tribal governments. Reservation life, tribal governance — both its benefits and its limitations — and socio-economic issues inform the experiences of many of the Native Americans in the United States to date.
Self-Determination simultaneously helped and hindered tribal people, as vastly as the ways in which the tribes generate and allocate income through the passing of the Act. These narratives proliferate through the outcroppings of new mediums such a YouTube, Twitter and informational websites. For instance, the sketch comedy group, The s , work in a tradition of irony and cynicism, calling attention to the paradoxes, micro-aggressions and points of tension that contemporary Native Americans face daily.
Additionally, Native Americans are increasingly involved in stand-up comedy, spoken word, dramatic readings and other forms of expression previously unexplored. The First Wave begins in with the publication of N.
This novel signals the entrance into a moment in American Literature in which Native American voices began to be received and recognized by the literary pubic. According to Owens, only nine novels by American Indian authors had been published prior to Native American novels serve to articulate a sense of self-determination for themselves. Narrative creation becomes a political testimony at time when reservation life remains beleaguered.
The enactment of termination policy spurred a resistance movement that, at least momentarily, put Native Americans, and by extension their voices and desires, on to the forefront of the national political stage. At this same time that this social upheaval occurred, novelists began publishing texts in an effort to express the sentiments of the era.
Scott Momaday. Since then an evolution has taken place in the way American Indian writers approach their subjects and the way these novels fit into the mainstream of American literature. This deliberate naming construction demonstrates the dichotomy of old verses new, Indian verses European, ancient verses modern.
He realizes then that the only way he can recover of his lost identity is through the act of return to tribal lands and customs. After this realization, Tayo goes to visit the old blind man who lives at the edge of town, Yellow Calf. Yellow Calf has formed a bond with Tayo and it is only at the end of the novel, when Yellow Calf describes the first bleak winter of , that the past and the present seem to connect and his identity is fully reconceived and solidified, finalized upon the burial of his grandmother.
The narrator in this moment understands both are a connected continuum of experience, not disparate, unaligned realities. By the closing pages of the novel, the unnamed narrator realizes his own position in the world. The remains of American Indian culture and the pervasive Western culture of materialism can find a balanced coexistence. This recognition is, perhaps, the final claim to an identity that the narrator searches for throughout the text. The novel functions as a methodology for its moment: the wounds of the new, Western, modern world can be healed and identity can be regained by a return to the old ways.
Tayo retreats into the natural landscape of the mountains and with the help of a beautiful woman, begins to heal and find solace from the brutality of World War II. Like the nameless narrator in Winter in the Blood , Tayo in Ceremony must return to reservation life, to the methods and means of his people to find spiritual completion. Through the characterization of Tayo, Silko leads the reader through a meta-ceremony in the act of reading, as Tayo himself is lead through the final and successful healing ceremony that he first rejects.
After all, the catastrophic bomb that ends World War II belongs in the realm of the modern future not the ancient past.
The Second Wave is characterized by an ambiguous racialized experiences, ambivalence toward the status of the identity what it means to be a Native American and the legacies, positive and negative, of the turbulent fight for enfranchisement of the previous decades. After the resurgence of Native American novels and short stories that often doubled as political statements, a new moment comes about in direct reaction to the one prior.
This moment — which I am calling Second Wave — is a new period of Native American Literature in which civil rights and enfranchisement have been granted and, now, contemporary Indians seek to position themselves both in and outside reservation life.
The Second Wave explores how to be an Indian in the increasingly connected life of an American in the twenty-first century. Sherman Alexie began his career in the early s; however, his engagement with tribal history and reservation life began when he was born in , on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Alexie openly discusses issues of poverty, alcoholism and hopeless as blights to contemporary Native American life.
These issues are addressed in his writing, but also in films like Smoke Signals , and also through a plethora of interviews and talks that Alexie has given, readily available via a Google search. Growing up in the aftermath of the protest movements of the s and 70s, Alexie shifts the focus of Native American writing from return to tribal lands and identity to the interrelated tensions of realizing and maintain identity as both American and Indian concurrently.
This shift signals the beginning of a new wave of Native American Literature. Tradition is not static or opposed to innovation. For Alexie, to be an Indian is to be an American. For example, the primary struggle of Arnold Spirit, Jr. Native American reformer, Charles Eastman touched on these issues almost a century before, being able to vacillate between the two worlds of white and Indian society with a level comfortability; however, in his time Eastman was the exception, most certainly not the rule.
Alexie works within this legacy in Absolutely True Diary in which the main character Arnold is working toward this balance, making peace with both sides by the conclusion of the novel. Rowdy and others on the reservation feel that he is a traitor to his people, but through the encouragement of elders and the insistence of his math teacher, Mr. P, Arnold comes to realize that in order to develop fully, he has no other choice. This ambiguity is central to the text.
The forces that push and pull Arnold are not always the clearly demarcated racial, class or economic lines that one would necessarily expect. The only Indian student in a wealthy white high school forces Arnold to search deeply for truth of his own design. He is well aware of the vast divide between himself and other students, economically, culturally and socially. He explores this dichotomy in the illustration on page 57, explaining the many differences between himself and his white schoolmates. Ultimately, after a series of deaths and distresses, the reconciliation with his estranged best friend helps him to realize that in order to fully form his identity he cannot live within the compartmentalization of the reservation.
I always knew you were going to leave. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms. This novel signifies the harkening of a new era of Native American Literature, no longer a renaissance but rather a revision. Native Americans are granted tribal autonomy. However, reservation life is not always ideal and tribal governance is not exempt from corruption and mismanagement.
The struggle for autonomy and release from bureaucratic dismantling paved the way for the battle to avoid self-destruction. Life on the reservation, as Alexie illustrates, is littered with domestic abuse, alcoholism and depression. Life off the reservation, as illustrated in earlier novels like those of Welch and Silko, also leads to depression and disillusionment.
Alexie dialogues with his predecessors in that life has changed, but different is not necessarily better. There is definitively room for improvement and Alexie sees this tension as a civil rights issue intimately linked to access and privilege. This unit seeks to appeal to the multiple learning modalities within a classroom.
This is important as it gives students who learn from one modality more readily than the other will have equal moments of access to engage with the works presented. To add, the Internet is a cache of all types of clips, sound bytes and videos related to content, easily accessible within a few keystrokes, which will appeal simultaneously to visual and auditory learners. Additionally, in the introduction to the novels video and audio clips of interviews with Alexie will be used to appeal to auditory learning styles.
Formative assessment, in opposition to summative, or final, assessment, is a way to check for student understanding. Formative assessments widely vary in type and formality. Formative assessment can vary from a brief exit ticket to a longer more structured written constructed response. While reading students will complete journaling prompts throughout the unit, sometimes in class and sometimes as homework. This process allows students to track their writing in a coherent, related grouping, while documenting their exploration and analysis of topics related to identity.
At several points throughout the unit, students will be invited to work with one another during classroom activities. A prominent idea behind collaborative student learning allows for students to interact on a peer-to-peer level and potential communicate ideas about the subject of study in a manner different from that of the teacher. For low-level learners the benefit lies in direct and specific feedback that is sustainably longer and more intense than a teacher could give any single student in a normal period.
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Part One The External Circumstances. Chapter 2 The Organization of Innovation. Chapter 4 The Market Context. Part Two Organization and Change. Chapter 5 Management Structures and Systems. Chapter 6 Mechanistic and Organic Systems of Management. Chapter 8 The Laboratory and the Workshop. Chapter 10 The Men at the Top. Chapter 11 The Shaping of Work Relationships. Chapter 12 Codes of Practice in Management Conduct. End Matter References Index.
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