Event—Adult Education

Contemporary Native American Memoirs


This class focuses on memoirs and autobiographies by contemporary Native American authors.

Heart Berries (2018) by Terese Marie Mailhot

Class Description

In this class, we will explore theoretical overviews of Native American literature, memoir, and sub-genres of autobiographical fiction. 

Weekly topics will include postcolonial theory, linearity and circular chronologies, past and present Native activism, fictionalization and narrator’s reliability, and community healing. We will explore the dynamism of Indigenous traditions and epistemologies and learn to apply postcolonial theory to American literary studies. 

You'll learn to identify and confront the stereotypes still commonly found in American literature and explore new diverse voices and perspectives through texts that have historically be confined to the margins.

Léna Remy-Kovach is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her doctoral thesis is focused on Indigenous Futurisms. Her other research projects include the commodification of Indigenous mythologies in US horror TV and translating contemporary Native decolonial poetry into French.

Materials List

First Reading

For the first class, please read:

  • Geronimo’s Story of His Life (excerpts, provided as a PDF)
  • The Way to Rainy Mountain (Prologue, Introduction, The Setting Out)

Cost and Registration

Six sessions, $247 ($220.50 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


Support the Newberry

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone.

Make a Gift


Call us at (312) 255-3700 or send us an email.

Email Us

More Adult Education Classes