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To settle an area away from one's own land, and to establish political and social control over the local people. Includes both physical and cultural forms of domination.
Noble savage
A trope in literature and broader cultural beliefs, in circulation since 17th Century. Portrays stereotype of the "native" as innocent, natural/part of nature, simple, and uncorrupted by modernity. Portrays "natives" as outside historical change or progress and as representing an "earli...
Commodity fetish
Describes how people invest commodities (marketable things) with magical properties of liveness and intention.
A historically changing concept. Used to suggest disease and wasting (TB). Social habits of buying and eating. These become normative and naturalized ways of managing self and society.
Magic realism or Magical realism
A literary genre, formally acknowledged to have begun in 1960s, in which ordinary and supernatural elements co-exist. Often used to express situations of culture shock, colonization, disruption.
A social and psychological condition of shock occurring from a disturbing event outside the norms of typical human tolerance, and over which the traumatized person has little control. Became overtly political when 1970s revisited Freud's theory of fantasy.
Connections and conflicts bw different elements of identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation)
rights, opportunities and authority granted to members of dominant. (Understand what naturalized means here)
influence or control over another country, a group of people, etc.
Cultural capital
Refers to non-financial social assets that promote social mobility beyond economic means. Examples can include education, intellect, style of speech, dress, or physical appearance.
Social capital
The networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.
Neoliberalism (as used by critical theory)
Critical Theory - a philosophical approach to culture, and especially to literature, that seeks to confront the social, historical, and ideological forces and structures that produce and constrain it. Neoliberalism - a label for economic liberalism whose advocates support economic li...
The process by which human conditions and problems come to be defined and treated as medical conditions, and thus become the subject of medical study, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.
Big Mom
This character is large in both physical stature and in her influence over the Spokane Tribe and many aspiring musicians. Some believe this character is immortal.
Robert Johnson
This legendary blues musician is regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Some people believed that his musical talent could be explained only by his having made a deal with Satan. Though he was believed to have died in 1938, he arrives on the Spokane Indian Reservation in 1992.
Betty - This bookstore owner views Native Americans in stereotypes and believes they possess secret wisdom that she can learn if she spends enough time around them. Along with her colleague Veronica, she embarks on a musical career with songs that are insulting to Native Americans ...
Chess Warm Water - this character joins the band Coyote Springs after hearing them perform at a bar on the Flathead Indian Reservation -he soon forms an intimate relationship with Thomas, and the two share many similar qualities, including the love of storytelling and a deep concern ...
Father Arnold
This Catholic priest once played in a rock and roll band before deciding to enter a seminary. In the time he has spent on the reservation, he has come to care deeply for the Spokane people.
Junior can be thought of as Victor's sidekick Unlike many on the reservation, Junior has had the opportunity to go to college. Junior's childhood was interrupted by the death of his family in an auto accident. The accident was directly related to alcoholism, and alcoholism is some...
Victor can be thought of as a tragic character. Since his youth was full of hardship, Victor has turned into a bully in adulthood. He has demonstrated incredible kindness to his only friend, Junior Polotkin. Before encountering Robert Johnson's guitar, Victor had interest in only ...
Thomas- builds a fire
protagonist of the novel he is the lead singer, but Thomas is truly the leader because he is the smartest and most caring member. Chess Warm Water Thomas sings a song for Chess the first time he meets her.
Themes/tropes/elements to understand:
Alexie's use of nonlinear time
not going in order A notable and major exception to the chronological structure of the novel occurs in Chapter 9 "Small World." This chapter is told in reverse order. The chapter begins with Junior's suicide and then progresses backwards to the band's return from New York
Magical realism
dad sawed us into pieces magical fry bed Arline feeding 100 indians with only 50 pieces of fry bread victors dad was like a magician
Problem of religion in a violent world
indians vs christans in basketball - first time indians won
Alcohol and alcoholism
In this novel, alcoholism affects each individual character as well as Native Americans as a whole. Thomas says that most Indians do not drink, but the ones that do get all the attention. Discuss the way alcoholism affects individuals, both drinkers and non-drinkers, and the way that al...
The ambivalence of success
ambivalence - having mixed feelings
Intersections of masculinity/poverty/Spokane
Importance of irony and humor
Be able to understand the meanings of - Coyote Spring's hopes and disappointments
Thomas starts an all-Indian rock & roll band called Coyote Springs band dreams of fame and fortune dark and disturbing dreams of the past, tests of faith and will and the human spirit. And so begins the strange, uncommon adventure that serves as the central vehicle for Sherman Ale...
The Disorder of Things
Hoarding - how a range of disordered behavior around consumption became a single disorder r AND a recognizable popular media narrative.
Jill (pumpkin lady)
Jill is a 60-year-old woman threatened with eviction because of her "extreme hoarding." But until her ritual of negotiation, a hoarder like Jill will refuse to make any choices, substitutions, or sacrifices; Her stash is a monstrous escalation of an older discourse on thr...
Role of experts
How can you let go of a physical item while still honoring the memory "Photos of Children and Children's Artwork," and "Any of the Above." His suggestion for "textile memories": She just shrugs and says the old package doesn't yet "look puffy," and scrapes some mold off its sid...
"ritual of negotiation"
But the ritual of negotiation—like any ritual— is meant to transform the hoarder, taking him through repetitive motions until he becomes, presumably, the agent of his own rational consumption.
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Hushpuppy (girl)
6 year old girl -daughter of Wink
Wink (father)
ill tempered
The children in school are being taught by Miss Bathsheba about nature and the release of prehistoric creatures called "Aurochs" from the melting ice caps.
Was never there - HushPuppy went to go look for her when wink was dying
Setting: Bathtub
The louisiana Bayuo The levee was killing all the life there
Themes: Environment and politics; "America" as many different places;
Other themes/ideas/info/clips/etc. from classes:
1. Anorexia - social not just psychological (began as response to rise of middle class)
Rise of middle class caused there to be more anorexic girls
2. Jennifer Jones' guest lecture on Lena Dunham - gender/class intersection in representing body type
Lena Dunham - overtly sexualized pop art -She was also diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder as a child, and continues to take a low dose of an antidepressant to relieve her anxiety.
3. Brony culture - gender norms and choices enacted in online culture
A fan of my little pony that is outside the target demographic of little girls. First impressions might be that bronies are creepy or gay, however that's a typical misconception. Most bronies are friendly teenagers and young adults that simply aren't afraid to admit that they enjoy a sh...
4. Whopper Virgin ad - neoliberal version of colonizing discourse
They don't even know how to eat them! We get to see people taking their "first bite of a hamburger," and wonder at their unfamiliarity with how to pick one up and eat it. This short video about the Thailand taste tests illustrates this with the dramatic voiceover about people who have "...
5. Smoke Signals clip - Fire; local characters; "driving backwards"
Fire - Victors dad started The fire started from fireworks - thomas was thrown out the window and saved Local Characters - Victor Local Basketball star Driving Backward - represents the indian culture going backwards
6. House in the Middle (1950s) - race, class and gender in performance of disaster and security
Clean, well kept, WHITE house in the middle survived the blast -While the other houses didn't -Beauty -Cleanliness -health -Saftey 4 standards that protect our community
7. Frank Waln rapper -
His music combines the drumbeats and flute sounds that are the backbone of Native American music with the spoken word that is the heartbeat of rap. His lyrics are about growing up without a father; about borders that are made by governments and those that are self-inflicted; about educ...
8. "I am not a mascot" and Reel Injuns
Reel Injun explores many stereotypes about Natives in film I am not a mascot - Indians don't like being known as mascots
9. Spokane people - basic location of reservation, salmon fishing, shrinking territory
Are a Native American people in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of Washington. - spokane indian reservation Spokane falls - where they fish benjamin pond and turtle Lake - turtle lake is bottomless Flathead Indian Reservation- This Native American reservation in West...

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