Native American Journey Stories | Newberry

Native American Journey Stories

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. Ann Brigham, Roosevelt University
Wait list only
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

The journey story represents a well-traveled literary path. In countless Euro-America novels and films, an individual moves away from home in search of something better, bigger, or just different, experiencing a reinvention of self. But the journey in Native American literature often charts a different path, taking shape as a return to home and a re-emergence, rather than wholesale reinvention, of self. At the same time, this reconnection—to place, self, community—occurs through a process of unsettling everything in the traveler’s path: place, time, relationships, history, ways of being. Focused on two contemporary texts, Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony and the film Smoke Signals, directed by Chris Eyre with a screenplay by Sherman Alexie, this seminar explores Native American journeys, especially as they put other things in motion—cultural conflicts, stories, identity, and definitions of home and self. These stories of mobility challenge the one of Manifest Destiny with its forced movement and dispossession of Native people. Here, the journey becomes a mode of agitation and interconnectedness, activating the relationships between past, present and future as well as those between individual and cultural identity.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars opens September 4, 2014.

For NTC registration information, please contact Charlotte Ross at