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EN903 Literature of American Southwest

The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity to study in depth the literature and culture of a specific region. Students will be encouraged to explore the connections between the culture, the history, and the landscape of the American Southwest, and the literary texts that are the focus of the seminar. Attention will be divided between texts from the perspective of the dominant Anglo-American culture, and texts that reflect the experience of Native American and Hispanic cultures. The cultural use of the Southwest as an imaginary and mythical space from the perspective of writers from beyond the region will also be investigated. Particular attention will be paid to issues of cultural hybridity and Métissage, both in terms of identity politics, and as regards forms of literary production.


Primary Texts

The syllabus will be partially determined by the participating students in Week 1 as an outcome of the initial workshop.

Texts will be selected from:

Mary Austin, The Land of Little Rain (1903)

George Herriman, Krazy and Ignatz: The Komplete Kat Komics 1925 and 1926

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire (1968)

Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek (1991)

Ana Castillo, So Far From God (1994)

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West (1985)

Juan Felipe Herrera, Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999)

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men (2005)

Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead (1992)

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1977)

Roberto Bolano, 2666 (2004)

Indicative Secondary Reading

Aldama, Frederick Luis. Postethnic Narrative Criticism: Magicorealism in Oscar "Zeta" Acosta, Ana Castillo, Julie Dash, Hanif Kureishi, and Salman Rushdie. University of Texas Press: March 1, 2003 (1st edition). ISBN: 0292705166

Allen, P.G. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in Native American Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

Allen, Paula Gunn. Off the Reservation: Reflections on Boundary-Busting, Border Crossing Loose Canons. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.

Anderson, G., ed. American Indian Literature and the Southwest. Austin: Texas University Press, 1999.

Anzaldúa, Gloria & Cherrie Moraga. Eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, February 1, 1984 (2nd edition).

Anzaldúa, Gloria E. & Analouise Keating. Eds. This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions For Transformation. Routledge: October 2002. ISBN: 0415936810

Arnold, E.T. & Dianne C. Luce. Eds. A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2001.

Arnold, E.T. & Luce, D.C. eds. A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 2001.

Austin, M. Woman of Genius. New York, Feminist Press, 1985.

Austin M. & Muir, J. Writing the Western Landscape. Boston: Beacon Press,1994.

Baker Jr, H.A. ed. Three American Literatures: Essays in Chicano, Native American, and Asian-American Literature for Teachers of American Literature. New York: MLAA, New York, 1982.

Basso, Keith. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Bloom, Harold and Blake Hobby, eds. The Trickster. New York, NY: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2010.

Busby, Mark. "'I Don't Know, but I Ain't Lost': Defining the Southwest." In Regionalism and the Humanities. Ed. Timothy R. Mahoney and Wendy J. Katz. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska P, 2008. 43-55.

Calderón, H.J.D. Saldívar eds. Criticism in the Borderlands: Studies in Chicano Literature, Culture, and Ideology. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 1991.

Campbell, Neil & Alasdair Kean. American Cultural Studies. London: Routledge, 1997.

Campbell, Neil. The Cultures of the American New West. BAAS Paperback. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2000.

Castillo, Ana. Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma. New York: Plume / Penguin, 1995.

Chavkin, Allan ed. Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony: a Casebook. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Comer, Krista. Landscapes of the New West : Gender and Geography in Contemporary Women's Writing. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Dennis, H. M. ed. Willa Cather and European Cultural Influences. Lewiston NY and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1996.

Feld, S. & Basso, K. eds. Senses of Place. Santa Fe; New Mexico: School of American Research Press, 1996.

Forbes, J. Apache, Navaho and Spaniard. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.

Frye, Steven, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Cormac McCarthy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Grice, H. C. Hepworth, M. Lauret & M. Padget. Beginning Ethnic American Literatures. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001.

Gutierez-Jones, Carl. Rethinking the Borderlands: Between Chicano Culture and Legal Discourse. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Harrell, D. From Mesa Verde to the Professor’s House. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press,1992.

Herrera-Sobek, Maria and Helen Maria Viramontes, eds. Chicana Creativity and Criticism: Charting New Frontiers in American Literature. Houston, Texas: Arte Publico Press, 1988.

Heyne, E. ed. Desert, Garden, Margin, Range: Literature on the American Frontier. New York: Twayne, 1992.

Horno-Delgado, Asuncion, Nancy S. Sternbach, Eliana Ortega and Nina M. Scott, eds. Breaking Boundaries: Latina Writing and Critical Reading. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1989.

Hunt, Alex. 'Modernist Women, Snake Stories, and the Indigenous Southwest: An Ecofeminist Politics of Creation and Affirmation.' In Women Writing Nature: A Feminist View. Ed. Barbara J. Cook. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2008. 7-20.

Isernhagen, Hartwig. Momaday, Vizenor, Armstrong: Conversations on American Indian Writing. University of Oklahoma Press. May 1, 1999.

Joseph, Philip. American Literary Regionalism in a Global Age. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State UP, 2007.

Keneally, T. The Place Where Souls Are Born: Journey into the American Southwest. London, Hodder & Stoughton: 1992.

Kluckhohn, Cc. & Leighton, D. The Navaho. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press: 1975.

Kolodny, A. The Land Before Her: Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860. Chapel Hill & London: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.

Krupat, A. & Swann, B. eds. Recovering the Word: Essays on Native American Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

Krupat, A. The Turn to the Native: Studies in Criticism and Culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.

Krupat. A. Ed. New Voices in Native American Literary Criticism. Washington & London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.

Lilley, James D. ed. Cormac McCarthy : New Directions. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2002.

May, S.J. Zane Grey: Romancing the West. Ohio University Press. 1997.

Monk, N., ed. Intertextual and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cormac McCarthy: Borders and Crossings. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Mujcinovic, Fatima. Postmodern Cross-Culturalism and Politicization in U.S. Latina Literature: From Ana Castillo to Julia Alvarez. Peter Lang, May 1, 2004. ISBN: 0820469297

Norwood, V. & Monk, J. eds. The Desert is No Lady: Southwestern Landscapes in Women’s Writing and Art. New Haven & Londo: Yale University Press, 1987.

Oppelt, Norman. T. Guide to the Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest. Boulder: Pruett, 1989.

Porter, J. & Kenneth. M. Roemer. The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Robinson C. Mexico and the Hispanic Southwest in American Literature. Revised edition. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1977.

Rosowski, S.J. & Slote, B. “Willa Cather’s 1916 Mesa Verde Essay: the Genesis of The Professor’s House.” Prairie Schooner, 158, 4: 81-92.

Rosowski, S.J. The Voyage Perilous: Willa Cather’s Romanticism. Lincoln & London, University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

Rudnick, L. Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Shumaker, Conrad. Southwestern American Indian Literature: In the Classroom and Beyond. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2008.  

Snodgrass, Mary. Leslie Marmon Silko: A Literary Companion. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Stauffer, H.W. & Rosowski, S.J. Women and Western American Literature. New York: Whiston Publishing Co., 1982

Swift, John N. & Joseph R. Urgo. Willa Cather and the American Southwest. Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

Thacker, Robert A & Michael A. Peterman eds., Willa Cather’s Canadian and Old World Connections. Cather Studies, Volume 4, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, February 2000.

Tillett, R. Contemporary Native American Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Van Dyke, John. C. The Desert. 1901. Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1980.

Vizenor, G. Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Literature. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1989.

Vizenor, Gerald. Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Vizenor, Gerald. Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.

Wallach, Rick. Ed. Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy. New York: Manchester University Press, 2000

Waters, Frank. Book of the Hopi. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1977. (1st published 1963).

Winnemucca Hopkins, S. Life Among the Piutes. (1183). Ed, Sarah Mann.

Witherspoon, Gary. Language and Art in the Navajo Universe. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001. (First published 1977).

Zamora, L. P. ed. Contemporary American Women Writers: Gender, Class, Ethnicity. Longman Critical Reader, 1998.

Zwinger, Ann. Wind in the Rock: The Canyonlands of Southeastern Utah. 1978. Tucson: Universiy of Arizona Press, 1998.