COD Offers New Native American Field Studies Class
By Mike McKissack
College of DuPage is offering a new three-credit elective field studies writing class that includes a trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota beginning in April 2014. Enrollments for this experience are still being taken.
"Native American Journey: Writing and Reading Across Cultures" will begin with three evening sessions in the classroom starting Thursday, April 10, followed by a trip to the Pine Ridge reservation from May 17 to May 23. During the visit, students will experience the tradition, culture and ceremony of the Plains Indians first hand under the guidance of a Lakota medicine man and other elders. In addition, participating students will visit the Badlands, the Black Hills, the Crazy Horse monument, and various historic and sacred sites, such as Wounded Knee and Wind Cave.
According to College of DuPage English Professor Tom Fate, the class will benefit participating students in a variety of ways.
"Aside from the cross-cultural encounter and exploration of Native American history, a goal of the class is to get students to understand writing as a way of thinking," said Fate. "They will write about their perceptions before the trip, observations during the visit, and finally reflection and analysis after their return."
Fate, who has visited the reservation eight times since the 1990s, added that students will also gain a deeper sense of the complexity of the American multiculture, and through that, a deeper understanding of themselves.
"It is a useful and compelling thing for a writer to move from the words to the world, from in-print to in-person," Fate said. "One cannot explore a new culture without better understanding their own."
Tom Fate is the author of five books of nonfiction, including "Beyond the White Noise," "Cabin Fever" and "Steady and Trembling." A regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune's Sunday books section, his essays have appeared in a broad range of publications including The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, The Iowa Review and Christian Century. Fate is a graduate of the nonfiction writing program at the University of Iowa and of Chicago Theological Seminary.
Fate will host a free presentation at College of DuPage on Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 2 to 3 p.m. in HSC 1234 titled "The Inconvenient Indian: Life (and Death) on the Pine Ridge Reservation." During this free program, Fate will share stories, photos and video from his time on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota this fall.
For more information about this class, contact Professor Tom Fate at (630) 942-3291 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for this class, call the Field Studies and Study Abroad Office at (630)
2014 College of DuPage