Great Plains Literature

English 211, Literature of Place: Great Plains Literature

Spring 2016

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This course is an introduction to writers and literary works associated with the North American Great Plains. We will consider how oral and written literature maps the contested cultural, historical, and ecological layers of prairie places, especially in terms of human identity and belonging. We will pay particular attention to the gendered power and politics of literary representations of the Great Plains.

Course activities include participation in discussion, regular writing about the readings, and a cumulative final writing project. We will visit UNL’s Great Plains Art Museum for an exhibition and event on “From This Grass Earth,” and we may organize a field trip to nearby Spring Creek Prairie.

Course readings include Great Plains fiction, memoir and autobiography, journalism, essays, poetry and oral performance by diverse authors about rural and urban places. Books to purchase:

Black Elk Speaks: The Complete EditionJohn G. Neihardt

The Tallgrass Prairie Readered. John T. Price

As For Me & My HouseSinclair Ross, or Old JulesMari Sandoz

Wild Stone Heart: An Apprentice in the Fields, Sharon Butala

The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921Tim Madigan

Crazy Brave: A Memoir, Joy Harjo

…y no se lo tragó la tierra / …And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, Tomás Rivera

Dirt Songs: A Plains DuetTwyla M. Hansen and Linda M. Hasselstrom