Many European writers have been discussed in Module 2

Many European writers have been discussed in Module 2 and each portrayed America from a personal perspective. What are the dominant themes of these Eurocentric portrayals? In an expository essay of at least 500 words, present your view and support it with specific quotations from the texts.Unit 2EXPLORING BORDERLANDSContact and Conflict in North AmericaAuthors and WorksOverview QuestionsFeatured in the Video:Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The True History of the Conquest of New Spain (history, exploration narrative)Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Relation of ÁlvarNúñez Cabeza de Vaca (exploration narrative,captivity narrative, hagiography)Americo Paredes, George Washington Gomez(novel), With a Pistol in His Hand: A Border Balladand Its Hero (cultural criticism, music history)Gloria Anzaldúa, La Frontera/Borderlands: The NewMestiza (memoir, poetry, cultural criticism, political theory)I What is a mestizo/a? How has mestizo/a identity and consciousness altered and developed overthe past four centuries?I What kinds of relationships did Europeanexplorers and colonizers have with the NativeAmericans they encountered in the New World?What stereotypes and conventions did they rely onto represent Indians in their narratives?I How did European colonizers use their narratives to mediate their relationships with authorities back in Europe?I How do writings that originated in SouthAmerica, Mexico, the West Indies, and Canada fitinto the American canon? Why have writings inSpanish, Dutch, and French been absent from thecanon for so long? What responsibilities do wehave as readers when we read these works intranslation?I How do concepts of writing and literacy differamong cultures? How did these differences shapethe colonial experience?I How does bilingualism affect mestizo/a narratives?I What characterizes a “borderland” or “contactzone”? What boundaries are challenged in a border region? How have conceptions of borderlandsand contact zones changed over time?I What differentiates assimilation, acculturation, and transculturation? Which of these termsseems most appropriate for the colonial experiences described in the texts for this unit?I How did the Spanish, French, Dutch, andEnglish approaches to colonizing the New Worlddiffer? How did those differences affect European–Native American relationships in different regionsof the Americas? How did differences amongnative cultures in Mesoamerica, Florida, Virginia,Discussed in This Unit:Christopher Columbus, lettersBartolomé de las Casas, The Very Brief Relation ofthe Devastation of the Indies (history, protest literature)Garcilaso de la Vega, The Florida of the Inca (history, folklore)Samuel de Champlain, The Voyages of Sieur deChamplain, The Voyages and Discoveries (histories, exploration narratives)John Smith, The General History of Virginia, NewEngland, and the Summer Isles (history, captivitynarrative, exploration narrative), A Descriptionof New England (exploration narrative, promotional tract), New England’s Trials (history, exploration narrative)Adriaen Van der Donck, A Description of NewNetherland (promotional tract)2U N I T2 ,E X P LO R I N GB O R D E R L A N D Sthe Middle Atlantic, and New France affect contactbetween Native Americans and colonizers?I How did the first European explorers envisionthe New World? How did their preconceptionsaffect their experiences in the Americas?I Why do early narratives of the New World sofrequently invoke the language of wonder? Whatnarrative strategies did explorers and colonizersuse to describe their experience of wonder?I Most of the texts discussed in Unit 2 can becharacterized as belonging to more than onegenre. Why do texts that represent border and contact experiences so often combine different genres?What is the effect of this genre blurring?I How are early mestizo texts influenced by theoral tradition and pre-Conquest literary styles?I What kinds of images of America did theEuropean writers featured in Unit 2 construct topromote colonization and settlement? What kindsof natural resources and environmental factors didthey extol in their accounts of the New World?I How did European writers justify taking overNative American lands and resources?I How are Native American women characterized in colonizers’ and mestizos’ narratives? Whatarchetypes and legends have developed about relationships between native women and Europeancolonizers?Learning ObjectivesAfter students have viewed the video, read theheadnotes and literary selections in The NortonAnthology of American Literature, and exploredrelated archival materials on the AmericanPassages Web site, they should be able to1. explain the commercial, political, and religiousstructures and goals that underwrote Europeancolonial ventures in the New World;2. discuss the effects European colonization hadon Native American populations in North andSouth America;3. describe the differences among the Spanish,English, French, and Dutch models of colonization;4. discuss the formation of mestizo/a identity andits development in America since the sixteenthcentury;5. identify primary differences among NativeAmerican cultures in Mesoamerica, Florida,Virginia, and New France and describe the hallmarks of their pre-Conquest literary traditions.Instructor OverviewAfter the Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza deVaca was shipwrecked and stranded in the presentday southwestern United States, he spent years living among Native American groups while seekingout his own countrymen. When he finally encountered a group of Spaniards, he was surprised torealize that they did not seem to recognize him asEuropean: “They were dumbfounded at the sightof me, strangely undressed and in company withIndians. They just stood staring for a long time, notthinking to hail me or come closer.” At the sametime, he found that his Indian companions refusedto believe that he was of the same race as the“Christian slavers,” or Spanish colonists, whomthey associated with exploitation, cruelty, andenslavement. Somehow, in the process of livingamong the Indians and mixing their culture withhis own European customs, Cabeza de Vaca hadcreated a hybrid identity for himself that was neither wholly Indian nor wholly European. Hisunique experience was a product of the complexculture of the “contact zone,” which scholar MaryLouise Pratt has characterized as an “interactive”and “improvisational” space where groups geographically and historically separated from oneanother come into contact and establish relationships. As Cabeza de Vaca’s experience makes clear,contact and conquest were not one-way experiences in which Europeans simply imposed theirwill on passive Native Americans. Instead, contactis always characterized by intersecting practicesand perspectives, even if power relations are oftenunequal. As diverse groups of Europeans explored,settled, and exploited the New World of North andSouth America in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, they came into contact withdiverse groups of Native Americans, creatingcontact zones from present-day Canada to theU N I T7 ,I N A T R U Y T A N D O FVREEREVDI O WS L S V E R C O RE M3Caribbean. The dynamic, fluid cultures that aroseout of the contact zones were marked by antagonism and violence as competing groups struggledfor power. These contact zones could, however,also give rise to vibrant new traditions forged outof cooperation and innovation.Unit 2, “Exploring Borderlands: Contact andConflict in North America,” examines the contactzones and colonial experiences of Europeanexplorers and the Native Americans they encountered. The unit also pays special attention to theway the contact zone between present-day Mexicoand the southwestern United States evolved into ahybrid border region that continues to be influenced by the legacies of the different groups whofirst struggled there for dominance in the sixteenthcentury. After hundreds of years of war, intermarriage, trade, slavery, and religious struggles, acomplex, syncretic culture has flourished in thespace that marks the current U.S./Mexico border.As conquerors and conquered merged, a new mestizo identity (a blending of Indian, European, andAfrican heritage) was created and continues tofind expression in the work of contemporaryChicano and Chicana writers of the “borderland”region. Unit 2 explores a wide variety of contactand border experiences, including narratives byChristopher Columbus, Bartolomé de las Casas,Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Álvar Núñez Cabeza deVaca, Garcilaso de la Vega, Samuel de Champlain,John Smith, Adriaen Van der Donck, AmericoParedes, and Gloria Anzaldúa. The unit providescontextual background and classroom materialsdesigned to explore the multiple and diverse waysthese writers represented encounters between cultures in contact zones and borderlands.The video for Unit 2 focuses on four writerswho challenge the geographical, cultural, political,and racial boundaries in the U.S./Mexico borderregion: Bernal Díaz del Castillo and Álvar NúñezCabeza de Vaca wrote as Spanish footsoldiers whowitnessed the brutal tactics of conquest and subjugation visited upon Native Americans. Writingcenturies later, Americo Paredes and GloriaAnzaldúa protest the continued oppression andmarginalization of people of mestizo ancestry inthe United States. Their work also explores thedynamic, inclusive potential of the hybrid cultureof the border region. All of these writers articulatethe tensions inherent in power relations in border4U N I T2 ,E X P LO R I N GB O R D E R L A N D Sregions, as well as the possibility for the formationof new identities in these interactive spaces.In its coverage of these writers and their texts,the video introduces students to the complexity ofthe concept of the “border” and of cultural andracial boundaries more generally. How do the textsin Unit 2 represent the violence and exploitationthat were part of the European exploration of theNew World? What kinds of beliefs and expectations did European colonizers bring with them tothe Americas? How did the sophisticated and varied cultures of native peoples impact the settlements Europeans created in America? How doEuropean writers represent the experiences andcultures of indigenous peoples? How does gendercomplicate power relations in contact zones andborderlands? How has mestizo identity transformed over time? Unit 2 helps answer these questions by offering suggestions on how to connectthese writers to their cultural contexts, to otherunits in the series, and to other key writers of theera. The curriculum materials help fill in thevideo’s introduction to contact zones and borderlands by exploring the works of writers who articulated other, diverse experiences, such as Samuelde Champlain (who wrote as a French colonist insixteenth- and seventeenth-century Canada),Adriaen Van der Donck (who described the Dutchcolonial experience in New Netherland), andGarcilaso de la Vega (who drew on his mixedEuropean and Incan heritage to write histories ofIndian/Spanish interactions).The video, the archive, and the curriculummaterials situate Unit 2’s writers within several ofthe historical contexts that shaped (and continueto shape) their texts: (1) the formation of theU.S./Mexican border and the impact of “borderlands” and boundaries on American culture;(2) Native American modes of writing and representing history, including contact histories; (3) traditional archetypes of Mexican and MexicanAmerican femininity; (4) the discourse of “wonder” in contact narratives; and (5) metaphors ofromance and eroticism that are common to conquest narratives.The archive and curriculum materials suggesthow the writers and texts featured in Unit 2 relateto those covered in other American Passages units:How does mestizo/a culture challenge dominantcontemporary ideas about the origin of Americaand American identity? How did the history writing and historias of contact experiences shape subsequent American texts? How have concepts ofNative American and Chicana femininity evolvedover time? How have “borderlands” shaped American culture and politics? How do concepts of writing and literacy differ among cultures? How hastransculturation shaped the American experience?Student OverviewAfter the Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza deVaca was shipwrecked and stranded in the presentday southwestern United States, he spent years living among Native American groups while seekingout his own countrymen. When he finally encountered a group of Spaniards, he was surprised torealize that they did not seem to recognize him asEuropean: “They were dumbfounded at the sight ofme, strangely undressed and in company withIndians. They just stood staring for a long time, notthinking to hail me or come closer.” At the sametime, he found that his Indian companions refusedto believe that he was of the same race as the“Christian slavers,” or Spanish colonists, whomthey associated with exploitation, cruelty, andenslavement. Somehow, in the process of livingamong the Indians and mixing their culture withhis own European customs, Cabeza de Vaca hadcreated a hybrid identity for himself that was neither wholly Indian nor wholly European. Hisunique experience was a product of the complexculture of the “contact zone,” which scholar MaryLouise Pratt has characterized as an “interactive”and “improvisational” space where groups geographically and historically separated from oneanother come into contact and establish relationships. As Cabeza de Vaca’s experience makes clear,contact and conquest were not one-way experiences in which Europeans simply imposed theirwill on passive Native Americans. Instead, contactis always characterized by intersecting practicesand perspectives, even if power relations are oftenunequal. As diverse groups of Europeans explored,settled, and exploited the New World of North andSouth America in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, they came into contact withdiverse groups of Native Americans, creatingcontact zones from present-day Canada to theCaribbean. The dynamic, fluid cultures that aroseout of the contact zones were marked by antagonism and violence as competing groups struggledfor power. These contact zones could, however, alsogive rise to vibrant new traditions forged out ofcooperation and innovation.Unit 2, “Exploring Borderlands: Contact andConflict in North America,” examines the contactzones and colonial experiences of European explorers and the Native Americans they encountered.The unit also pays special attention to the way thecontact zone between present-day Mexico and thesouthwestern United States evolved into a hybridborder region that continues to be influenced bythe legacies of the different groups who first struggled there for dominance in the sixteenth century.After hundreds of years of war, intermarriage,trade, slavery, and religious struggles, a complex,syncretic culture has flourished in the space thatmarks the current U.S./Mexican border. As conquerors and conquered merged, a new mestizoidentity (a blending of Indian, European, andAfrican heritage) was created and continues to findexpression in the work of contemporary Chicanoand Chicana writers of the borderland region.Unit 2 explores the multiple and diverse ways thatwriters have represented encounters among cultures in contact zones and borderlands, from thefifteenth to the twenty-first century.S T U D E N TO V E R V I E W5Video Overview➣ Authors covered: Bernal Díaz del Castillo, ÁlvarNúñez Cabeza de Vaca, Americo Paredes, GloriaAnzaldúa➣ Who’s interviewed: Gloria Anzaldúa, author; JuanBruce-Novoa, professor of Spanish and Portuguese(University of California, Irvine); Maria Herrera-Sobek,professor of Chicana studies (University of California,Santa Barbara); Sonia Saldívar-Hull, professor ofEnglish (University of Texas, San Antonio); Elliot Young,assistant professor of English (Lewis and Clark College)➣ Points covered:• The U.S./Mexico border region is an area with a longand complex history of challenging racial, political,cultural, and geographical boundaries. Contemporary Chicano/a literature and culture arise out of a literary history that begins with the narratives of Spanishexploration. Spaniards Bernal Díaz del Castillo andÁlvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca were eyewitnesses tothe vibrant pre-Conquest indigenous cultures thatexisted in the area, as well as to the brutal realities ofthe sixteenth-century Spanish conquest that devastated it. These writers helped begin a uniquely Latinoand American literary tradition. After centuries of cultural and racial integration, twentieth-century criticsand creative writers Americo Paredes and GloriaAnzaldúa have re-examined the history of the borderlands from the perspective of the mestizo/a.• Bernal Díaz del Castillo served as a footsoldier inHernán Cortés’s campaign to conquer Mexicobetween 1519 and 1521. Many years later, he wroteabout his unique perspective on the Conquest in hisTrue History of the Conquest of New Spain. His narrative was one of the first accounts of Doña Marina, orLa Malinche, the native woman who served asCortés’s translator, negotiator, and mistress. DoñaMarina is a conflicted and contradictory figure withinthe tradition of Chicano/a literature: some see her asa traitor who sold out her own people to the Spanish,while others argue that she is better understood as aneffective mediator between cultures.• Cabeza de Vaca sailed to the New World in 1527 aspart of a Spanish expedition to Florida. After beingshipwrecked, he wandered for nine years among theIndians of the present-day U.S. Southwest before finding his way back to a Spanish settlement. In theprocess he became acculturated to Native Americanpractices and learned Native American languages,thus becoming the first cultural mestizo in the region.• Three hundred years after Cabeza de Vaca, Americo6U N I T2 ,E X P LO R I N GB O R D E R L A N D SParedes committed himself to studying and celebrating the legacy of mestizo culture in the border region.He collected and recorded the Chicano musical tradition of the corridos, subversive songs that narrate thestruggles of Mexican heroes against Anglo oppression. His novel, George Washington Gomez, tells thestory of a Chicano coming of age in the borderlands.• Gloria Anzaldúa built on Paredes’s legacy of Chicanoactivism to empower Chicana and mestiza women.Her 1987 book, Borderlands/La Frontera, gives voiceto women of mixed identity and challenges traditionalracial, cultural, linguistic, and gender boundaries. Shehas been part of the movement to recuperate andredefine Doña Marina as a heroine and inspiration toChicanas.PREVIEW• Preview the video: Home to pre-Conquest indigenouspeoples, European conquistadors, and mestizos of mixedracial and cultural background, the U.S./Mexico borderregion has long been a site of contact, conflict, and newbeginnings. It is a place where geographical, cultural,political, and racial boundaries are challenged andrestructured. Contemporary Chicano literature and culture arises out of a literary history that begins with thenarratives of Spanish exploration. In the sixteenth century,Bernal Díaz del Castillo served as a footsoldier in thearmy of conquistadors that devastated the Aztec Empirein central Mexico. Much later, as an old man, he wroteabout his experiences and offered insights into the Conquest from the perspective of a humble soldier. His narrative provides one of the earliest accounts of thecontroversial figure of Doña Marina, or La Malinche, thenative woman who served as Cortés’s mistress, interpreter, and negotiator. Doña Marina became a key symbol in the oral and literary traditions of later generationsof Chicanos. Another Spanish soldier of the sixteenthcentury, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, had a very different experience in the New World. Sailing to the Americasin 1527 as part of a Spanish expedition to Florida, hewas shipwrecked off the coast of Texas. During his nineyears in the border region, Cabeza de Vaca evolved intowhat some critics have called “the first cultural mestizo”and hence the first writer of Chicano literature. By learning the languages and becoming familiar with the cultureof the many Native American tribes among which hemoved, he constructed a mixed identity for himself. Centuries later, that mixed identity has become common inVideo Overview (continued)the border region. By the late twentieth century, people ofmixed Spanish/Anglo/Indian/African blood who lived inthis region began protesting the extent to which their culture had been marginalized by dominant Anglo society.Americo Paredes contributed to this movement by collecting and recording the musical border ballad tradition ofthe corridos, subversive songs about Chicano heroes whoresist Anglo oppression. Building on Paredes’s legacy,contemporary writer Gloria Anzaldúa explores the positive, inclusive possibilities that a mixed background offersto mestizos and mestizas. Protesting oppression based onrace, class, and gender, she has given a voice to mestizawomen inhabiting the borderlands and redefined the roleof women as envisioned by Bernal Díaz del Castillo andother earlier writers.• What to think about while watching: How has thesouthwestern border region changed over time? Whatpolitical and social issues have shaped the literature ofthe borderlands? What is the relationship between theconquerors and conquered? How do these writers articulate an ideal of a mixed and inclusive identity? How doesthe Chicano notion of “historia” complicate traditionalAnglo ideas about the distinction between history and fiction? What traditional stereotypes have been applied tomestiza women? How have women restructured andredefined the identities open to them in the borderlands?• Tying the video to the unit content: Unit 2 expands onthe issues discussed in the video to further explore thecomplex contact and conflict between different groups indifferent geographical border regions and contact zones.The curriculum materials offer background on Spanish,French, Dutch, and English writers and texts not featuredin the video. The unit offers contextual background toexpand on the video’s introduction to the political issues,historical events, and literary styles that shaped the literature created in the borderlands.V I D E OO V E R V I E W7DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE VIDEOHow do place and time shapeliterature and our understanding of it?How are American myths created, challenged, and reimagined through these worksof literature?ComprehensionQuestionsWhat are borderlands? Whatboundaries besides geographicalones are challenged in borderregions?What is a mestizo/mestiza?Who was Doña Marina, or LaMalinche?ContextQuestionsHow does Cabeza de Vaca’salmost anthropological account ofhis time among the natives resonate with Americo Paredes’ssociological/anthropologicalapproach to recording the traditional musical and folk traditionsof Chicano culture?How might Bernal Díaz’s description of Tenochtitlán have inspiredChicano activists’ ideas aboutAztlán and its culture?How do corridos celebrating theexploits of Gregorio Cortez invokeand rewrite the legacy of HernánCortés the Spanish conquistador?ExplorationQuestions8What is an American? How doesAmerican literature create conceptions of the American experience and identity?How have Native American,mestizo, and mestiza identitychanged over the course of hundreds of years of contact and conflict between groups in theU.S./Mexico border region?How has mestizo culture challenged dominant EuropeanAmerican ideas about the originsof America?What does the term Chicanomean? Where does it come from?How does it differ from the termsHispanic, Latino, or SpanishAmerican? Which of these termsdo you feel is most appropriate forthe writers featured in the videoand why?What modes of protest do youthink are most effective atenabling an oppressed group tochallenge stereotypes and limitations imposed by the dominantculture?U N I T2 ,E X P LO R I N GB O R D E R L A N D STIMELINETexts1490sContextsChristopher Columbus, “Letter to Luis de SantangelRegarding the First Voyage” (1493)Columbus sails from Spain for the New World,arrives in the Bahamas and claims the land forSpain (1492)Jews expelled from Spain by order of Ferdinand andIsabella (1492)Publication of the first Spanish Grammar, Gramáticade la Lengua Castellana, by Antonio Nebrija(1492)New World divided between Spain and Portugal bythe Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)Bartolomé de las Casas sails with Columbus on histhird voyage to America after receiving a lawdegree from the University of Salamanca (1498)1500sMartin Waldseemüller coins the name “America” ona map of the New World (1507)1510sBartolomé de las Casas named “Protectorate to theIn…

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