In Chapter III, Thomas King continues to critique historical and contemporary representations of the Indian, arguing that Indians have been typecast and stereotyped throughout history and into the present. King includes the story of Ishi, the “Wild Man of Oroville,” and reminds us of the Puritan views of Native Americans–they were described as “‘wonderous cruel,'” “‘strangely base and vile,'” and like beasts of prey (King 75). He concludes that the role of the Indian in North American history is the role of the entertainer. The Indian is entertainment. You might consider this idea of “entertainment” in the context of storytelling. Isn’t a story’s purpose to entertain? How is entertainment the “story of survival”? (89). One of the paper topics, in fact, is directly connected to this chapter.
ALL of the research project topics are connected to The Truth About Stories. This discussion board begins our conversation about the research project. For this discussion board, brainstorm ideas in response to two separate paper topics. List the paper topic first, then brainstorm a possible response. Brainstorming is the first stage of the writing process, and it includes listing ideas and making connections. In this case, your brainstorming should consist of complete sentences, and it should include connections to specific parts or ideas in The Truth About Stories. Try to end your brainstorming for each paper topic with a thesis statement – it can be a weak or a broad one, but any thesis statement is a starting point.
(You should choose the best of the ideas you generate in this week’s discussion and use it as the basis for your research paper and annotated bibliography, but be sure to brainstorm TWO possible topics in this week’s discussion. Even if you opt not to pursue something, your ideas might inspire one of your peers to look into that topic.)EH102 DEX/DEY Spring 2020
Research Project Topics
Due Week 9: Annotated Bibliography
Due Week 11: Research Paper
These are general prompts to get you started. Your specific argument is up to you, but it should
fall into one of these areas. As noted below in #5, if you choose to create your own topic, you
must email it to me for approval no later than Week 8 (but sooner if possible!).
1. Research a creation myth that is unfamiliar to you OR compare two creation myths. For
example, you might examine a version (or versions) of the Greek creation myth or
compare the Greek creation myth to a version of the Earth Diver (Charm) story King
relates. What does your research reveal about the culture that created the myth? Note:
The goal in comparing myths should not be to decide which one(s) are “right” or
“wrong,” but to identify key elements and analyze what they can tell us about the culture.
2. Examine narratives surrounding the image of “The Indian” that King comments upon.
For this topic, you may choose, in addition to King’s book, to focus on a film, sport, or
some aspect of popular culture that presents a stereotypical view of Native Americans,
OR one that challenges those stereotypes. For instance, if you focus on film, you might
choose a Western (some examples: Fort Apache, The Searchers) or even an animated
film (examples: Peter Pan, Pocahontas). If you choose to discuss sports, you might
examine controversies related to team names and/or how teams use Native American
3. Consider the positive, transformative power of storytelling, or what King calls “saving
stories.” According to King, stories are medicine that can cure or injure. Examine this
power from a psychological or sociological point of view.
4. Research the conflicting “narratives” surrounding some aspect of Native American
history raised by King’s book. How do different sides tell the story of things like the
reservations, government boarding schools, the Indian Removal Act and Trail of Tears,
casinos, or any other of the many points of contention that King introduces?
5. Propose a topic of your own inspired by The Truth About Stories. If you would like to
create your own topic, email me with a brief description of your narrowed
topic/working thesis no later than the close of Week 8. (But the sooner the better!)
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