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Analyzing multicultural literature for Young Adults 2003


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Analyzing multicultural literature for Young Adults 2003

  1. 1. Analyzing Multicultural Literature LIB 617 Readings and Research in Young Adult Literature Fall 2010
  2. 2. Why analyze literature? <ul><li>To discover the full spectrum of the content </li></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  3. 3. A little Newtonian physics <ul><li>Isaac Newton first used the word spectrum ( Latin for “appearance” or “apparition”) in print in 1671 in describing his experiments in optics . Newton observed that, when a narrow beam of white sunlight strikes the face of a glass prism at an angle , some is reflected and some of the beam passes into and through the glass, emerging as different colored bands. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NationMaster Encyclopedia >  Visible light </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Spectrum requires a prism <ul><li>Estonian composer Arvo Pärt: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>about his music : Alina   </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Prism as a filter <ul><li>Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The biographer finds that the past is not simply the past, but a prism through which the subject filters his own changing self-image. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goodwin, Doris Kearns (1979). ‘‘Angles of Vision’’, in: Mark Pachter (Ed.), Telling Lives: the biographer’s art. Washington, DC: New Republic Books. Cited in Debate and Reflection: How to Write Journalism History </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. A prism to view the full spectrum of literature <ul><li>P ersonal </li></ul>R eal I nvented SM iley face
  7. 7. Personal? <ul><li>Do you feel as if you’re involved; part of the action? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That these are real people we’re dealing with—some identifiable personalities (even when they’re not “people”? </li></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  8. 8. Real? <ul><li>Is there something that makes you feel that this could have happened? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even when it couldn’t in real life? </li></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  9. 9. Invented? <ul><li>Is this story invented, created by one or more authors (not necessarily “artificial,” rather is it fiction)? </li></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  10. 10. Smiley Face? <ul><li>Does it seem generic, impersonal? </li></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  11. 11. Two Continuums <ul><li>Real Invented </li></ul><ul><li>Personal SMiley Face </li></ul>
  12. 12. Put ‘em together! Per so n a l SM i l e y Real Invented
  13. 13. Application to Literature??? . . . and Indians????
  14. 14. Top Left Sector of Matrix <ul><li>Up close and personal—and real! </li></ul>Real Personal Folklore : consists of culture , including stories, music , dance , legends , oral history , proverbs , jokes , popular beliefs , customs and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions ) of that culture, subculture , or group . It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. ( Wikipedia ) Invented
  15. 15. A rival to Paul Bunyan and John Henry <ul><li>Fink, Mike , 1770?–1823? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American border hero, whose exploits have been so elaborated in legend that the actual facts of his life are difficult to discover. He was born probably at the frontier post of Pittsburgh, took part in the wars against the Native Americans of the Ohio region, and subsequently became a keelboatman on the flatboats of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. He later turned to trapping. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Mike Fink .” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition . 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2009 from </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>See also Mike Fink: an American anti-hero </li></ul></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  16. 16. Mike Fink tale <ul><li>By “the then beautiful village of Louisville” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Among [a] band of [Indian] outcasts was a Cherokee, who bore the name of Proud Joe . . . Joe still wore, with Indian dignity, his scalplock; he ornamented it with taste, and cherished it, as report said, until some Indian messenger of vengeance should tear it from his head, as expiatory of his numerous crimes. Mike had noticed this peculiarity; and, reaching out his hand, plucked from the revered scalplock a hawk's feather. . . . [Mike’s] ball had cut it clear from his head; the cord around the root, in which were placed feathers and other ornaments, still held it together; the concussion had merely stunned its owner; farther - he had escaped all bodily harm! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Mike Fink, the Keel-boatman ” in Thorpe, T.B. (1854). The Hive of “The Bee Hunter.” A Repository of Sketches, Including Peculiar American Character, Scenery, and Rural Sports. </li></ul></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  17. 17. Bottom Left Sector of Matrix <ul><li>Invented, but Personal </li></ul>Real Personal Invented Quality literature, sometimes adaptations, or else original writing, with universal appeal and meaning for everyman and everywoman
  18. 18. A personal, if invented YA story <ul><li>The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian , Sherman Alexie </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The National Book Award-winning novel THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie is such a magnanimous stew of reality and hope --- and the particular traumatic existence of a reservation teen in contemporary America --- that you can't possibly put it down, no matter how sad, disgusted or freaked out it makes you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed by Jana Siciliano </li></ul></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  19. 19. Personal, invented and more controversial <ul><li>The “Little House” series </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If Pa Ingalls had built his little house on the periphery of an antebellum southern mansion and Mrs. Wilder had described its Black slaves in the same terms she depicted the Osage Indians, her book long ago would have been barred from children’s eyes, or at least sanitized like some editions of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . Mrs. Wilder’s book even contains the popular variation of General Sheridan’s racist remark about what constitutes a good Indian. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dennis McAuliffe, Jr., Little House on the Prairie </li></ul></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  20. 20. <ul><li>Real Smileys! </li></ul>Top Right of the Matrix Real Recognizable stories, but unoriginal and shallow
  21. 21. A real smiley? <ul><li>My Heart Is On the Ground Ann Rinaldi </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The book adds to the great body of misinformation about Native life and struggle in the United States and Canada. This one book epitomizes the utter lack of sensitivity and respect that has come to characterize the vast majority of children's books about Native Americans. Non-Native readers of My Heart Is On the Ground will continue to be validated in whatever feelings of superiority they may have; Native children will continue to be humiliated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review in Oyate. See also the accompanying essay “Literary License” or “Mutated Plagiarism”? and Fiction Posing As Truth </li></ul></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  22. 22. <ul><li>Invented smileys [perhaps contrived?] </li></ul>Bottom Right of the Matrix Invented Generic, unoriginal, impersonal, shallow
  23. 23. A stilted example? September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  24. 24. Functions of multicultural literature <ul><li>Rudine Sims Bishop: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provide knowledge or information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expand how students view the world by offering varying perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promote or develop an appreciation for diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>give rise to critical inquiry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>illuminate human experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In Using Multiethnic Literature in the K–8 Classroom (ed. Harris, V.J. (1997)), cited by Debbie Reese in Native Americans Today , a ReadWriteThink lesson from NCTE and the International Reading Association </li></ul></ul></ul>September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature
  25. 25. Useful resources September 21, 2010 Analyzing Multicultural Literature