WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty

WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty
2014 Summer Term I
Instructor: Patience Perry
Office 114 LLC
Phone: x-7223
Fax: x-6400
Email: [email protected]
Course: WGC 3301-101
Class Location: LLR 326
Pre-Trip Meeting Dates: 3/27, 4/10, 4/12, 4/28, 5/3
Field Excursion: 5/10-5/20 (AZ & NM)
Post-Trip Meeting Date: 5/23 (Boone, NC)
General Education Credit:
Aesthetics: Creative Expression of Culture or
Historical/Social: Religion, Myth, and Society
(FA) Designation
Course Description:
In this course, students immerse themselves in the art, philosophy, history, geography, and cultures
of the Acoma, Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo tribes in the American Southwest. The pedagogical approach
incorporates conceptual, experiential, and Service-Learning structures. A field experience in
Arizona and New Mexico accompanies this course. Additional fees apply.
Course Introduction:
For the Navajo, hózhó expresses the intellectual notion of order, the emotional state of happiness,
the physical state of health, the moral condition of good, and the aesthetic dimension of harmony. 1
Often translated as “beauty,” hózhó provides the metaphor for this course and our exploration.
Conceptually, this course seeks to challenge assumptions, stereotypes, and subtle (or overt)
prejudices toward Indigenous Americans which permeate the dominant culture. Students critique
instructional materials produced by American Indians themselves in comparison to materials
produced by Anglos or Non-Natives. Participants reflect upon the ways in which the histories of
Indians have been portrayed and their behavior interpreted. Students gain an understanding of
some of the unique cultural features of the Acoma, Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo tribes as well as their
conceptual framework regarding land, time, space, balance, religion, health/healing, and art.
A particular emphasis is placed on the vast spectrum of Southwestern American Indian art and on
the artists themselves. Students engage oral stories, songs, weavings, pottery, beadwork, paintings,
baskets, and other products of creative cultural expression.
During the field experience, students transition from conceptual learning to experiential and service
learning. Alex Seotewa (the “Indian Michaelangelo”), Ramson Lomatewama, Esther Jackson, and
Andrew Henry provide significant content during the field experience through lectures, cultural arts
presentations, shared meals, and home stays. During home stays, students have the opportunity to
engage in collaboratively defined service projects which may address public relations,
construction/development on privately owned land, agricultural farming, health and wellness,
and/or sustainability issues. Other field experiences include: pueblo tours, museum visits, guided
hikes, communally prepared meals, participation in ceremonies, visits to ruins and heritage sites,
and explorations in galleries, trading posts, and gift shops. Lodging consists of a Home stays,
Camping, Hostel, and Hotel stays. The trip begins with a flight into Albuquerque, NM.
Witherspoon, G. & Peterson, G., (1995). Dynamic Symmetry and Holism Asymmetry in Navajo and Western Art and
WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty
2014 Summer Term I
Participants then complete a circumnavigation by van through various Reservation Lands and
National Parks.
Service Learning Processes:
Service Learning is intertwined in the field experience. Fundamental in the process of deepening
multi-cultural understanding and creation of viable relationships are mutually beneficial activities.
Students are empowered to become active and mindful partners as they engage with each other and
with hosts and their families. Student demonstrate this mindfulness in a spectrum of activities
including small tasks such as respectful listening, verbally addressing each other, gesturing (rather
than pointing), or washing dishes while minimizing water use; likewise, in large tasks such as
assisting in construction projects, co-developing small business and marketing strategies, and while
planting 3 acres of corn.
Planning: Host families determine major service projects in collaboration with the Instructors and
Instructional Assistants. Service groups meet regularly throughout the semester to discuss, plan,
and implement projects. Sites include: the Lomatewama Residence on Hopi 3rd Mesa, and the
Henry Family Farm in Canyon de Chelly. Participants will also form planning groups for small
projects related to service-learning, group function, meals, and trip logistics. In essence, the field
experience is designed to utilize shared and rotational leadership. Participants, therefore, must be
willing to contribute and accept responsibility in this service-learning experience.
Service Learning is… a use of knowledge with a historical understanding or appreciation of
social, economic and environmental implications as well as moral and ethical ramifications of
people’s actions. This involves a strong use of communication and interpersonal skills including
literacy (writing, reading, speaking, and listening) and various technical skills…. At their best,
service-learning experiences are reciprocally beneficial for both the community and the
students. 2
A Skills Inventory will be conducted to identify and help maximize individual contributions. Guest
Lecturers and Assigned Readings address Service-Learning Objectives. A True Colors Inventory
and In-Class workshops highlight personality traits and potential challenges during group work,
group travel, and interpersonal/intercultural communication. Attendance in an ACT ServiceLearning Orientation may be required.
Reflection/Assessment: Students should maintain a service-learning section of their semester-long
journal/portfolio. A service-learning checklist and Group Meetings will be utilized as tools for
service-learning reflection in the field experience. Any member of the community including
students, facilitators, or hosts can request a group circle. Writing prompts pertaining to ServiceLearning constitute a significant part of the journal. Lastly, the course concludes with a final class
meeting and reflection retreat a few days after returning from the trip utilizing art, slides,
experiential activities, discussion, thank-you letter writing, and group process.
Required Fees:
Costs vary in accordance with transportation, lodging, food, and lecture fees. Tentative 2014 cost is
$1160 secured with a $60 non-refundable deposit & to be paid in two installments. Additional
information is provided during the interest meetings.
Brevard Community College, The Power. July 1994.
WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty
2014 Summer Term I
Academic Content:
This summer course blends required academic content including digital media, journal articles, and
book excerpts on ASULearn plus lectures and personal experiential learning during the field
experience. The majority of the readings occur before the trip to prepare ourselves for competent
and respectful cultural exchange. Students seeking to utilize this course as a Junior Seminar for
their Experiential Interdisciplinary Certificate should see the instructor regarding an additional
project assignment.
Suggested Texts:
Iverson, P. (2002). Dine: A history of the navajos. University of New Mexico Press:
Albuquerque, NM.
James, H. C. (1974) Pages from hopi history. Arizona Press: Tuscon, AZ.
Williams, T.T. (1983). Pieces of white shell: A journey into navajoland. University of New
Mexico Press: Albuquerque, NM.
Suggested Films:
Chinn, J. (Producer & Director). (2007). Borrowed dances: Cross cultural reflections of the
smoki people [Film]. Prescot, AZ: Smoki Museum and Vision Arts.
Florio, M. & Mudd, V. (Co-Producers & Directors). (2006). Broken rainbow [Film]. Los
Angeles: Earthworks Films.
Grossman, R. (Producer & Director). (2005). Homeland [Film]. Oley, PA: Bullfrog Films.
McLeod, C. (Producer & Director). (2002). In the light of reverence. [Film]. Oley, PA: Bullfrog
National Geographic. (1995) War code: navajo. [Film]. Retrieved from:
Eyre, C. (Director) (1998). Smoke signals. [Film]. Santa Monica, CA: Miramax Films.
Verbinski, G. (Director) 2013). The Lone Ranger. [Film]. Burbank, CA: Walt Disney Studios.
Course Objectives: As a result of this course, students will be able to…
1. Identify geographical locations and physical landmarks of significance pertaining to the
Acoma, Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo people.
2. Articulate cultural features of Navajo, Hopi, and other Pueblo cultures (such as foods,
languages, spiritual beliefs, art, craft, stories, and social structure) and the ways their beliefs
give meaning to their world.
3. Develop an appreciation of the artistry, creative process, and functionality of stories, crafts,
weavings, jewelry, pottery, music, etc. and the Natives who create them.
4. Identify and describe the emotional, intellectual, psychological, and kinesthetic effects of
their interactions with various forms of creative expression.
5. Develop interpretive skills and aesthetic discernment by closely examining examples of
Southwestern Indigenous Art in text, digital media, galleries, trading posts, and in person
with the artists themselves.
6. Analyze the relationship between specific works of art and their historical, cultural, and/or
artistic contexts.
7. Explore the concept of health, wellness, and holism through American Indian practice using
the arts, ceremony, herbalism, and ritual.
WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty
2014 Summer Term I
8. Explore Indigenous perspectives of land, time, family, place, and space while discussing
contemporary issues such as mineral extraction, relocation, tourism, recreation, water rights,
education, health, and employment.
9. Consider behavior, relationships, ethics, creation, and religion from a variety of perspectives
including: self, Navajo, Hopi, tourists, trading post owners, and others.
10. Identify, conceptualize and evaluate social, cultural, economic, and political processes to
understand and explain the experiences of Contemporary Natives on Reservations and in
their navigation of bicultural realities.
11. Participate in mutually beneficial service provision in the areas determined by host families.
12. Reflect critically on service provision effectiveness, reciprocity, and communication.
13. Compare and contrast the styles of communication and learning characteristic of Hopi,
Navajo and those typically practiced by people from the dominant "Anglo" culture.
Pre-trip Meeting Attendance/Participation
Map Project
Cultural Etiquette Statement
Field Experience Participation
Field Journal
Take Home Final Exam
Jr. Seminar Final Project (optional, not included in pt total)
Description of Assignments and Evaluation
Students are expected to 1) attend all pre-trip meetings, 2) complete all the readings, 3) come
prepared with assignments, and 4) participate in discussions. Attendance is mandatory particularly
because community building is an integral component in experiential learning. In order to travel
together, we must learn to trust ourselves and each other. This trust can only be earned through 5)
mutual respect, compassionate relationships, and active listening.
5 pre-trip meetings @ 30 pts each (detailed above)= 150 points
Map Project
Create a Map of the four corners region. On your map of the Southwest, identify the required
features (refer to accompanying instructional sheet). Map accuracy/ aesthetic qualities (50 pts),
Reference Sheet (20 pts).
50 points total
Cultural Etiquette/Service-Learning Statement
Articulate conceptualizations of Anglo and Native frameworks and how you can behave respectfully
during intercultural exchange. Consider Service Learning Goals and Proposed Projects in your
written contract.
50 pts total
Field Experience
Students are asked to participate in discussions, demonstrate respectful behavior towards peers,
instructors, and guides, cooperate, model selflessness, and contribute equitably to cooking, cleaning,
WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty
2014 Summer Term I
and camp responsibilities. Participation in all Group Meetings, Service Learning, and Experiential
Activities is required.
10 days x 20 pts each= 200 points
Final Journal
Students are asked to keep a detailed journal recording 1) daily activities, 2) quotes and content
from lectures and demonstrations, 3) environmental observations, 4) interpersonal observations
(others) , 5) intrapersonal observations (self), and 5) responses to assigned prompts. These writing
prompts will be provided to cultivate depth in our goals to explore course objectives regarding
creative expression, aesthetics, theoretical frameworks, socio-political, historical, and cultural
contexts, relationships between individuals, communities, institutions, and intangibles,
observations and interpretations of human behavior, and various personal experience. ServiceLearning, reflections on the demands of your presence, impact of your actions, and examples of
mutuality during interactions with Community Partners must accompany a minimum of 20% (or 4
of the responses) in the Journal.
min. of 20 responses (due on the last group meeting/final exam) @15 pts each= 300
Post-Trip Reflection Retreat
1 day x 60 pts= 60 points
Final Exam
A take home final exam will be distributed on the last day of class in Boone, NC. Students choose 8
out of 10 possible writing prompts. Utilize academic personal narrative writing as you cultivate a
high quality, integrated response based on both conceptual and experiential sources. APA in-text
citations must be used consistently and an accompanying Bibliography.
160 pts possible
Junior Seminar: Final Project
For those seeking to use these credits as their capstone experience in their Experiential,
Interdisciplinary Certificate, an additional final project is required. This project begins with a topic
of interest (generated before or during the trip) and includes an interview, field observations, and
digital media data collection. Upon return, additional research such as journal articles, web
material, phone interviews, book excerpts, etc will be collected. The final multi-modal creative
project includes layers of experience and academic content with an accompanying Annotated
Bibliography. It involves two types of original art forms created by the student (dance, song, music,
painting, sculpture, weaving, basket, metalwork, poetry, digital slide show, performance art, etc.)
The project breadth and scope will vary based on the topic explored but past examples include:
Arrowheads in the Southwest: History, Spiritual importance and Manufacturing (hand-made
arrowheads created by the student); Navajo weaving patterns: Origins and Original (self-created
loom and hand-dyed wools), Desert Jack: A Portrait of Ramson Lomatewama, etc. Rubric will be cocreated by instructor and student. 160 pts possible. Due 6/24/14 before Summer 1 Grading Period
Grading Policies:
All assignments are due on the assigned dates unless previously negotiated with the instructor.
The instructor reserves the right to refuse late work or deduct points for late submissions.
Academic Integrity Code
As a community of learners at Appalachian State University, we must create an atmosphere of
honesty, fairness, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of each
WGC 3531: Natives of the Southwest: A Walk in Beauty
2014 Summer Term I
other. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of an
Appalachian degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form and will
oppose any instance of academic dishonesty. This course will follow the provisions of the Academic
Integrity Code, which can be found on the Office of Student Conduct Web Site:
Academic Rigor
In its mission statement, Appalachian State University aims at “providing undergraduate students
a rigorous liberal education that emphasizes transferable skills and preparation for professional
careers” as well as “maintaining a faculty whose members serve as excellent teachers and scholarly
mentors for their students.” Such rigor means that the foremost activity of Appalachian students is
an intense engagement with their courses. In practical terms, students should expect to spend two
to three hours of studying for every hour of class time.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Appalachian State University is committed to making reasonable accommodations for individuals
with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If you have a disability and may need
reasonable accommodations in order to have equal access to the University’s courses, programs and
activities, please contact the Office of Disability Services (828.262.3056 or www.ods.appstate.edu).
The WGC 3301 Syllabus is subject to change.