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Report Proposal--Sherman Alexie

Report Proposal--Sherman Alexie

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Published by: Johana Marie Williams on Sep 06, 2012
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Johana-Marie WilliamsOctober 19, 2010LIT4034
Oral Report: Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie is a poet who is a part of the Contemporary movement which is both apart of and a response to postmodernism, poetry that emphasizes culture and identity whether sexual, racial,or political. In his poetry, Alexie
seeks to rearrange the reader’s
perspective on ownerships of historyand culture and reestablish his own history and culture as a Native American. Because of the nature of Imperialism (the fact that the hierarchal point of view as the conqueror as somehow intrinsicallystronger/better/more worthy than those conquered is absorbed by both the "conqueror" and the
his poems are not solely for a Native American audience, nor Caucasian audience-- notonly for the privileged or only for the unprivileged. It is both that need to re-member and re-assesshistory and culture by re-cognizing (not just seeing but rethinking) what has actually happened in thepast and what the consequences of the past are today. Some of the issues addressed are invisibility,economic in, appropriation of culture,
To Read:
Textbook pg. 1045-1052
Attached Documents:
“Another Proclamation”
“Giving Blood”
“An Interview with Sherman Alexie”
MY NOTESApproach
The questions asked in his poetry often boil down to, “What really happened then?” and“What’s really going on today?” Because America is
postcolonial. Just cause the white people
across the pond left the white people over here alone doesn’t meant that colonialism is not still
happening (the remaining areas of Western colonization being Australia, New Zealand, South Africa,and
the Americas
) and for the minorities in those areas that have not reached the postcolonial stage,colonialism and its effects on everyday life are going to constantly be an issue.
I’m definitely going to be looking more at the ideas of Alexei’s poetry than his techniq
ue. This
is not a poetry craft class, it’s a literary class, and the point of literature is to convey an idea, appoint,
an idea etc., so our focus as students should be on the ideas that are being conveyed and discussthem. Not only that but often when minorities write poetry that is very frank about their ideas, the
discussion of a poet’s technique is
often used to so as not to discuss the more inflammatory aspects of the writing. I do not think that this is completely conscious or purposeful, especially on the part of thestudent and it is even understandable since the topics may not be as easily relatable to a readingaudience that is majority white but
I’m not going to do that.
 That is not to say that technique is unimportant. Actually technique frequently is a vehicle for
of the poet’s idea
and an examination of such adds depth to the discussion what a poet is or is not
trying to say. But the discussion of technique should be in the context of the discussion of the poet’s“message”.
Another Proclamation
Rethinking a historical figure often set up as a hero against injustice(differences/
similarities to June Jordan’s “Notes on the Peanut” though from a different

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