American Studies | Colloquium in American Studies / Topic: North American Prehistory Through Fiction
G620 | 13110 | Scheiber, Laura


4 cr. hrs.
2nd 8 weeks Course
Mon. & Wed. 10:10 a.m.-12:25 p.m.

Class meets with ANTH-P363 & P663
P: ANTH-P200 or equivalent

In this course, we will read several fictionalized accounts of life
in Ancient North America, written by anthropologists, Native
Americans and novelists, as a means to think critically and
creatively about the past. We will use these novels to consider what
we think we know about this topic -- from archaeological and
paleoenvironmental evidence and from ethnoarchaeological and
anthropological research -- and to discuss the language of
archaeological writing. We will explore the role and place of
narrative and imagination in the constructions of the past and how
these authors utilize available data. We will consider the success
of each author in expanding, challenging, and constraining our
understandings. Most of the novels will be set in the past, from the
first inhabitants of this continent 11,000 years ago to their
descendants who met European invaders in the sixteenth century, and
another novel will discuss the past by presenting a contemporary
archaeologist as the lead character.

The grade will primarily be based on participation, discussion, and
a final take-home exam. Graduate students enrolled in the course are
also expected to write a short research paper and creative essay.
Mondays will generally be devoted to discussions of the novels, and
on Wednesdays we will discuss the archaeological evidence behind the
stories.