• Course Number: ENGL 134NA
  • Prerequisites:

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  • Advisory Enrollment Information:

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  • Quarter: Winter 2024

The Body As Archive: Indigeneity, Felt Theory, and Decolonial Ways of Knowing. Specifics will vary from quarter to quarter.

This course finds its origins the work of queer Chumash/Esselen poet and scholar Deborah A. Miranda who declares “my body is an archive”. What does it mean to physically inhabit a difficult or silenced history? How does it feel to have your body or your ancestors’ bodies and stories collected by institutions? How is trauma lived and passed down through the body? What do our feelings, senses, and living in our bodies teach us that cannot be learned through the mind alone? How does language itself create and contain archives of cultural knowledge and relationships? Miranda’s work invites us to engage in Indigenous ways of knowing and feminist / queer inquiry into the issue of historical trauma through narratives of embodied, lived experiences of subjection and survivace. We will explore the relationship between documents and objects and the emotions, senses, and affective knowledges of living peoples related to them by critically examining archival logics, archival methods, and theorizations of the archive. This is a course designed to shift disciplinary perspective. Course materials will cover a broad interdisciplinary terrain from literature, performance, poetry, and visual arts/film to legal, historical, and cultural studies. Much of this is short form and will be available through Canvas. We will also be reading a few books students are required to purchase (novels, theory, and memoirs) by authors such as Deborah A. Miranda, Saidiya Hartman, Dian Million, and Leslie Marmon Silko.

For those who declared in Fall 2023 or later, this course can fulfill one of two subject requirements for the English major:
-Literature and the Social
-Form, Media, Expression


  • Schedule & Location
  • Day(s): tue thu
  • Time: 12:30 pm–1:45 pm