The Flower Songs of the Hungry Coyote: Pre-Columbian Indigenous Poetry (LIT2536.01)

Anaïs Duplan

While much of our study of North and Central American poetry begins after the arrival of Christopher Columbus, indigenous poetic traditions begin centuries before. Nezahualcoyotl, or the “Hungry Coyote,” is considered one of the greatest poets of pre-colonial Mexico. His “flower songs” inspired an entire generation of pre-Columbian Native poets, whose work we can read as a record of a literary and literal world soon lost to colonial conquest. But the Hungry Coyote was not just a poet. He was also an architect, city planner, and philosopher. Thus through a deep study of Nezahualcoyotl and his contemporaries, we can begin to try to understand the soon-to-be catastrophized world of the pre-colonial Americas, and even to speculate what might have emerged had the European settler not derailed the society so eloquently described by the Hungry Coyote. Therefore, in this course, we are invited into historico-literary speculation. Alongside our readings of pre-Columbian poetry, with a particular focus on Nezahualcoyotl Flower Songs, students will also author speculative, critical essays on the violently extinguished potential of the pre-colonial Americas. 

Learning Outcomes:
- Develop familiarity with 14-15th century poetry
- Develop creative and critical writing skills
- Greater understanding of the cultural history of the pre-colonial Americas

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every Term

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature