Principal Investigator:Megan Musgrave, Lecturer, Department of English, School of Liberal Arts
Project Title:Liberal Arts Education as a Spider Web: Developing an Interdisciplinary Course in Native American Literature
Abstract:As exemplified by the partnership agreement Chancellor Bantz signed with the Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians at IUPUI on November 16, 2010, IUPUI has committed to developing educational and cultural preservation programs not only for the Potawatomi, but for the Native American community in general. This effort is being spearheaded by Dr. Johnny Flynn, Director of American Indian Programs. However, there is currently a gap in our American Indian Studies curriculum; we offer no courses in Native American literature, and do not have the five permanent courses we need to offer a minor. The English L364 Native American Literature course that I will develop with this grant will be the fifth and final course required to make this minor complete. This will not only draw the attention of current IUPUI students and faculty to Native American history and culture, it will also draw Native American applicants to IUPUI, which has the potential to become the hub of Indiana’s Native American culture and a leader in advocating for participation from Indian tribes and individuals at all education levels. This particular course will serve this mission by filling gaps in two curricular areas: for students pursuing a minor in American Indian Studies, this is the only course that will cover literature written by Native American writers. For students pursuing a major in English, this is the only course which offers an in-depth look at the particular ways in which Native American writers have contributed to the body of American literature.