Friday, February 24, 2006

Current Courses Winter 2006

I am teaching two distinctly different courses with two distinctly different student populations. The first year writing students have been a joy and I've given them plenty of time to integrate their service to community agencies into the assignments. So I'm getting very good papers from students who normally would not provide the details needed in writing a profile. I have high expectations of this classes' next assignment which is to take a position on a subject they care about but the limit is that it must be an issue of social justice.

Native American and Latina American Writers, my other class has helped me crystalize my topic for my book. I'm grateful for the opportunity of teaching the history and the anthropological studies of Natives from the SouthWest as that was the region for some of my favorite tribes. Also, the transculturation that took place among the various t sribes of the SouthWest along with Anglo and Mexican cultural interactions provides a rich source for study by me as well as by my students.

As I teach the use of stories among Laguna, Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, Pima and other tribes of the area I can see the influence on Spanish peoples from SouthAmerica from the indigenous peoples they encountered. So I intend to do a kind of reversal of what Mary Louise Pratt did with Imperial Eyes and Contact Zones by looking at writing by women in Spain and then those writings by Mestizas in the North and South America. I am researching and enjoying looking into narratives as arguments -- see Silko's web metaphor and western argumentation structure. We can't forget that many Latinas learned from the Western traditions. The interesting things that happen are those which occur with the hybridizing of the two traditions.

More at a later time.