Native American Culture and Literature

Instructor:  Wendy Kasten

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Class Limit 25
  • Materials Required

In this course, participants will read three of six possible books by the top, award-winning, contemporary Native American authors Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday, and Louise Erdrich. Sessions will consist of discussion
groups on the books, presentations on Native American issues and cultures in general, learning about Maine Wabanaki cultures and history, with a possibility of a guest speaker from an indigenous nation.

Class limit 25

Required texts: Students obtain books on their own from local or online booksellers in print or Kindle editions. Each participant should choose three books (any edition) by each of these three authors:

1) Sherman Alexie: The Absolute True Story of a Part-time Indian, ISBN 978031, $9.99-$12.00 OR You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir, (non-fiction), ISBN 031627075x, $6.29-$9.83
2) Louise Erdrich: The Birchbark House, (historical fiction), ISBN 00786814543, $7.00 OR The Round House, (contemporary fiction), ISBN 978-0-06-206525, $13.00
3) N. Scott Momaday: House Made of Dawn, ISBN 13978-0061859977, $8.00 OR A Man Made of Words, (non-fiction), ISBN 0-312-18742-4, $14.00

Wendy C. Kasten is Professor Emerita of Education from Kent State University (Ohio). In her career, she spent time on two different native American reservations, studying issues in schools which hinder the success of native students. Her Ph.D. dissertation is based on an ethnographic longitudinal study of the writings of Tohono O’Odham children in elementary school, and she is published in peer reviewed journals on Indian Education. She is the recipient of two awards for outstanding teaching. She has taught four other courses for Senior College.