In 1600 the governor of St. Augustine conducted an inquiry into sending a Spanish convoy to the interior of what would become the U.S. Southeast. In this inquiry, two Native women, Teresa Martín and Luisa Méndez give testimony on the geography of the region and available food and resources. Martín’s and Méndez’s testimonies are likely the first time Native women are recorded in Latin script.
Using Martín’s and Méndez’s testimonies as an organizing principle, this course will give students a better understanding of what are, in the words of the Muskogee Creek and Cherokee scholar Craig S. Womack, "the oldest literatures in the Americas, the most American of American literatures." Moving from these testimonies (1600) to the Qualla Boundary in Even as We Breathe (2020) by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, students in this course will read a wide range of literary texts and scholarly work, and screen at least one film.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 2-3:15
WLH, primarily face-to-face
Dr. Melissa Birkhofer