Indigenous Poetics and the Politics of Resistance
In 1969 a group of university students and Native activists calling themselves the Indians of All Tribes gathered on Alcatraz Island in an act of political protest that would turn out to be the longest occupation of U.S. lands in the nation's history. Claiming title to the territory under a nineteenth-century treaty, the Indians of All Tribes broadcasted their protest through an independent radio show and newsletter that included important political and poetic writings by the activists. This course builds outward from the Occupation of Alcatraz to understand the deep historical relationship between political resistance and poetic expression in Indigenous communities. We will read broadly on poetics and Indigenous political theory, beginning with non-alphabetic writings and Indigenous understandings of communal and political life, and concluding with formally innovative collections by Indigenous poets working on issues like climate justice and language revitalization.