“Decolonizing American Literary Studies: Some Thoughts toward a Native-Centered Pedagogy”
North American scholars have recently begun talking about “decolonizing” academic fields of study, many of which have historically contributed to the larger continuing project of the colonization of Indigenous peoples. Following some key principles drawn from Indigenous pedagogies, this lecture (and subsequent discussion) will offer suggestions for ways we might begin to “decolonize” the teaching of American literature. What books and courses do we teach? What work do we ask our students to complete? Why should we teach this material at all? By attending to these questions with practices derived from Indigenous pedagogies, perhaps we can begin to better understand and challenge the underlying colonizing mindset that has informed much of the history of this field of study.
James J. Donahue serves as Professor and Assistant Chair of the Department of English & Communication at The State University of New York, College at Potsdam (USA). He is the author or editor of four books, the most recent of which is Contemporary Native Fiction: Toward a Narrative Poetics of Survivance (Routledge 2019). His current research includes a monograph focused on Indigenous North American comics and graphic novels and an edited collection (with Dr. Derek C. Maus) on the popular TV show Atlanta and its intersections with other African American narrative media. He regularly teaches courses on literary theory, Indigenous literatures, and Young Adult fiction.
A guest lecture of the Institute of American Studies, organized by Dr.phil. Marie Dücker, BA MA B.Ed and Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil. Nassim W. Balestrini, MA.