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Culture and Literature of North American Native Peoples

Class at Faculty of Arts |



The aim of the course will be to study and understand the basic characteristic features of the Native cultures of North America. The introductory sessions will be dedicated to the description of their natural and geographical backgrounds, and to the basic ethnographic classification of the particular Indian and Inuit tribes. The central part of the course will be focused on the study of some representative examples taken from the cultural tradition of the Native people. Some possible topics of interest for this part are as follows: the Native myth and traditional oratory; the concept of creation and the image of Man in the Native cosmology; the influence of folklore and oratory on modern fiction by Native authors; the Native idea of humour and its relation to the process of storytelling.

Some space will also be given to the discussion of other forms of Native artistic expression, namely of visual art, and their ways of formulating the mythological interpretation of the world.

The idea is not only to describe the Native traditions as separate cultural identities, but to give recognition to their impact on their societies in a global perspective, and to understand the fact of coexistence of different cultural identities in the pluralistic world of today


To be specified.