TTh 3:00-4:15 p.m., Shingleton Hall 8

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ceremony Assignment for Tuesday, 3/22/16

This assignment asks you to discuss the interrelationships among healing, ceremony, and storytelling in Laguna/Pueblo culture. Read the novel's Introduction by Larry McMurtry and Preface by Silko to understand these links.

Assignment: In a two- to three-paragraph comment to this post, answer this prompt: in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, Betonie says, "White people are only tools that witchery manipulates; and I tell you, we can deal with white people. . . . because we invented white people" (122). What does Betonie mean by "witchery"? What does he mean by the claim "we invented white people"? Finally, what is the nature of Betonie's relationship with Tayo?

Use standard English. Cite textual evidence from Silko's novel. Your comment may respond to previous comments as long as it otherwise fulfills these assignment criteria. Citation includes in-text citation and a list of Works Cited. In order to post a comment here, you must have an online account compatible with Blogspot. You may use either an existing online account, like your SU Gmail account, or set up a new one expressly for online work in this class. You may use whatever online moniker you prefer (barring the offensive) as long as your posts include your name. After the semester is over and final grades issued, you are free to disable any online account you used for this class. This assignment counts as one online work grade and is due by class time on Thursday, 3/2416.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Assignment for TUESDAY, March 15, 2016


As we begin Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko this week, you'll notice that Silko uses a great deal of poetry interspersed with the prose narrative of the novel. The poetry is a stark contrast to the prose, inasmuch as the poetry's subject matter--Pueblo cosmological beliefs--contrasts with the otherwise realistic portrayal of the present in the narrative portions of the novel. (Of course, the novel's publication date and other historical cues in the narrative's exposition alert us to exactly when "the present" is in Ceremony.)

M. Scott Mamaday has called Ceremony "a telling" rather than a novel to be read. Indeed, the narrative has a lyrical cadence reminiscent of oral literature performances by community storytellers. Silko echoes this idea, stating in her introductory essay that she didn't know she was writing a novel and that, when finished, wasn't sure what genre of writing she had created. Dividing the narrative into chapters seemed inorganic to her. What she had written, she realized, was simply a very long story appropriate for her Pueblo literary tradition and her artistic goals.

Given that some literature, as in Pueblo tradition, is meant to be spoken rather than read--and given that many of you expressed the hope of pairing spoken word with dance during our last class session--we're going to replicate the experiences of composing, performing, and hearing our own literature inspired by the intersection of your Town Hall topic, course themes, and Ceremony. This week's assignment is for each of you to write a spoken-word piece (or poem) that would take about 2-3 minutes to read aloud. You'll perform these in class (just to our class) on Thursday, 3/15. One piece will be selected for demonstration at a General Education conference in early April.