Horizon: Where Land Meets Sky
|[Miracles rest simply] upon our perceptions being made finer,
so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears hear what there is about
WILLA CATHER, Death Comes to the Archbishop, 1958
Horizon is nothing but the limit of our own sight
Winter and Spring Books For Horizon: Where Land Meets Sky
Modular (Horizons and Stars Sky and Culture students)
Seminar study groups 1:30-2:30 Each group works with answers to the study questions provided and any other guidance from facilitating group.
2:30-3:30 The group facilitating uses time according to its plan: report
of discussion, faciliates any special writing or other exercise to help
deepen understanding of the text. This could include reading aloud, writing
responses in class, acting or dancing the text, etc.
a. Who is the author. What else has she or he written? What have been the stepping stones of
b. What reviews have been written about his or her work? What has been said about the work?
c. Who is the intended audience for the book?
d. What if any awards has the book or author received?
e. What is the purpose of the book? The motivation of the author in
writing the book?
The Role of The River that Runs Uphill: to be read on line during
the quarter as supplementary text but not specifically seminared on. William
H. Calvin , the author, "is a theoretical neurophysiologist at the
University of Washington School of Medicine with a long association with
neurosurgeons, zoologists, and psychiatrists. He studied physics at Northwestern
University, made the transition to neuroscience at M.I.T. and Harvard Medical
School, and received his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University
of Washington in 1966." A number of other articles by him are on line as
well as titles of his other books. The other text to be used in this way
(as model and personal reflection) is Canyon Solitude by Patricia C. McCairen.
Chose one or both or neither for enrichment and thoughts about your own
possibilities for using a journal in the spring.
To Be Announced (During first two weeks. Probably a Thursday)
Additional study questions: What is the significance of the title of the book? Who are the characters? Outline their motivations, characteristics, contribution to the story? What is the "spine" of the book or central story line? Where is the book set? What are specific, important moments or turning points in the book?
Week 3 Paul Zolbrod Diné bahané: Navajo Creation Story
Additional study questions: What are the issues, ethical and otherwise, involved in translating and epic work from a language and culture other than your own? What gives Zolbrod permission to do this kind of work? What other translations are available in English? Who produced them and what are their credentials? Who is Hastiin Klah and would it make a difference to have a Navajo's translation of this work? What differences? Begin a visual representation of the worlds, the characters you meet in these worlds and their significance.
Week 4 Paul Zolbrod Diné bahané: Navajo Creation Story
The River That Runs Uphill W.H. Calvin http://weber.u.washington.edu/~wcalvin/bk3/bk3ch1.htm
Prologue and Day 1
Canyon Solitude Patricia C. McCairen
Additional study questions: Relate the Navajo Creation Story to Momaday's book. How does the Creation Story relate to the theme of Horizons? What is your personal creation story? What world are you living in? Who are the characters and what experiences are you having that might lead you to seek a different horizon? Develop a rough draft or plan for an expression of your creation story.
Week 5 Lucy Tapahonso Blue Horses Rush In
The River That Runs Uphill Day 2 and 3
Given what you know of the Navajo Creation Story, how do you understand Tapahanso's work to be informed by this ideology/cosmology? Select one of Tapahonso's pieces to analyze and interpret carefully in terms of imagery, use of language, and meaning. Select another piece and write a personal response or use her style to create a piece of your own to share.
Week 6 Lucy Tapahanso The Women are Singing
The River That Runs Uphill Day 4 and 5
If you were to meet Lucy Tapahonso, what would you like to ask her? What would you like to tell her about her work? Do an analysis of one piece of her work and write a personal response to another (as above).
Week 7 Leslie Silko Yellow Woman and a Beauty of Spirit
The River that Runs Uphill Day 6 and 7
Take a week to breathe. Use sense you haven't used this quarter to hear Silko's words. Try touch, taste, smell. Think about all that she evokes. Write or talk or draw about the experience of doing this.
Week 8 Alphonso Ortiz Tewa World
The River that Runs Uphill Day 8 and 9
Ortiz was a Tewa anthropologist (as you'll discover in researching his bio). What special implications does this have? For him? For the Tewa people? For us as readers? Make a schematic drawing/graph of your understanding of the central structure of Tewa society and the related beliefs and values. Find one thing especially difficult for you to understand in the book and come up with a way to explain it to others.
Week 9 Elsie Clews Parsons Tewa Tales
The River that Runs Uphill Day 10 and 11
Parsons was also an anthropologist. Describe her method. Did she work through a translator? What implication for the tales she collected? What ethical problems does she face and how does she resolve them? Or does she? Take one tale and create a visual representation of it. Compare at least one tale with the Navajo Creation story. How does Ortiz book help you (if it does) understand the Tales? Use specific examples of ways in which social structure or values and beliefs are reflected in the tales.
Week 10 Review:
Finish The River that Runs Uphill if you are reading it.
What Horizons do the images represented in our books this quarter open for you? What sense of the solid and not so solid, the concrete and the abstract meeting? What sense of climbing into new worlds? New world views? Different sense of possibilities and promises? How will you carry these images forward into the next quarter? Into your personal work?
During the last Tuesday and Wednesday class, each student
will have opportunity to present answers to these questions and also present
their own personal creation story begun in Week 4.