WRA 891

WRA 891

(american indian) rhetorics

Home Schedule Assignments
Home Schedule Assignments
Header image: Photograph by Cliff Matias. Background: A Tribe Called Red at Stage 49 during the Gathering of Nations pow wow. Foreground: world champion hoop dancers (center James Johns, left, Tony Duncan, right, Sage Romero). From Indian Country Today

Course Information


This seminar engages with American Indian thought so as to both honor the specificities and breadth of American Indian rhetorics and to interrogate trends in current rhetorical theory, including object-oriented rhetoric and rhetorical ecologies. We will begin the semester with readings from American Indian philosophers so as to explore one model of putting American Indian epistemologies in conversation with “traditionally Western” philosophies. In these weeks, we will look both to pan-tribal and tribally specific ways of knowing and being. Next, we will examine definitions and realities of being American Indian, and consider how power and agency circulate with these contexts. We will work to define what we mean by American Indian rhetorics so as to build a bridge to the final unit of the course which examines a selection of modern rhetorical theory. In this last unit, we will consider what is gained by reading these texts through an American Indian rhetorical lens.

Instructional Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to

Required Materials

Selections from the following books

Course Policies

|||Accommodation Policy

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities, with documentation from the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, may be requested by contacting me at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (presentaiton, project, etc). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

|||Academic Honesty

The Spartan Code of Honor states, "As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do." In addition, Article 2.III.B.2 of the Student Rights and Responsibilites (SRR) states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." The (insert name of unit offering course) adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site:

Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the Web site to complete any course work in this course. Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work. (See also the Academic Integrity webpage.)

|||Limits to Confidentiality

Essays, journals, and other materials submitted for this class are generally considered confidential pursuant to the University's student record policies. However, students should be aware that University employees, including instructors, may not be able to maintain confidentiality when it conflicts with their responsibility to report certain issues to protect the health and safety of MSU community members and others. As the instructor, I must report the following information to other University offices (including the MSU Police Department) if you share it with me:

These reports may trigger contact from a campus official who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In almost all cases, it will be your decision whether you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting you are encouraged to make an appointment with the MSU Counseling Center

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