Postcolonial Theory and the Undergraduate Classroom: Teaching "The Red Convertible"

Postcolonial Theory and the Undergraduate Classroom: Teaching "The Red Convertible" Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Volume 2, Number 1, © 2002 Duke University Press 109 red Oldsmobile convertible is a symbol of their financial success and is integral to Henry’s brief recovery and ultimate demise. For students to see this connection, however, they must do more than passively accept the story’s portrayal of Native Americans. They can look at the facts — the brothers live on a reservation, are intermittently employed, lack an intact nuclear family, and engage in some awfully strange behavior — but they must go further to appreciate Erdrich’s decentering of stereotypical images of Native America. Locating the story in a postcolonial framework allows students to do this. They must ask the questions through which literary discussion develops into cultural critique. Why do the brothers live on a reservation? Why are there no viable long-term jobs for them? Why are they not in college? Why would they blow their cash on a car when they could apply it to their education or to fixing up their house? The answers lie not only in the encroachment of white values on Native America but in Native Americans’ modes of resistance. Lyman and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Duke University Press

Postcolonial Theory and the Undergraduate Classroom: Teaching "The Red Convertible"

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, Volume 2 (1) – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1531-4200
eISSN
1533-6255
DOI
10.1215/15314200-2-1-109
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Volume 2, Number 1, © 2002 Duke University Press 109 red Oldsmobile convertible is a symbol of their financial success and is integral to Henry’s brief recovery and ultimate demise. For students to see this connection, however, they must do more than passively accept the story’s portrayal of Native Americans. They can look at the facts — the brothers live on a reservation, are intermittently employed, lack an intact nuclear family, and engage in some awfully strange behavior — but they must go further to appreciate Erdrich’s decentering of stereotypical images of Native America. Locating the story in a postcolonial framework allows students to do this. They must ask the questions through which literary discussion develops into cultural critique. Why do the brothers live on a reservation? Why are there no viable long-term jobs for them? Why are they not in college? Why would they blow their cash on a car when they could apply it to their education or to fixing up their house? The answers lie not only in the encroachment of white values on Native America but in Native Americans’ modes of resistance. Lyman and

Journal

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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