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Essay 4: Analysis of Gender and Sexuality in “Tokinish” and Postcolonial Love Poem and at least one reading assigned during weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12
Worth 100 points
Word Count 1,250-2,500
Formula MLA
Essay must have a works cited page using the current MLA citation style. All of them
Select one of the following five prompts to complete your essay. You must include in the upper left hand corner of your paper, where your name and the date go, that this is Analytical Essay #4 and the letter of which prompt you have chosen to attempt. This could be written like “Analytical Essay #4A”
a. One way of looking at Stevens’ “Tokinish” is to read it as a pastoral-coded love poem from a Mohawk man about, though not necessarily to, his Beloved, a White man, and discusses his conflict with their love while knowing the bloody history of American colonialism and America’s history of violent anti-queer history—which explains, beyond the stereotype of Natives-as-Elves discussed by Dr. Jones, why the poem is thusly coded as pastoral. Then when we look at Postcolonial Love Poem, published 20 years later in a far more open and queer-positive time than the late-90s and early 2000s when “Tokinish” was published (though far from ideal), when things like The Gay Panic Defense was a legally accepted way to acquit a straight person for the murder of someone who was suspected to be queer, or the various “same-sex marriage bans” throughout the late 90s that coalesce into a proposed 2003 Amendment to the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, an amendment favored by then President, George W. Bush, which thankfully never made it out of The House of Representatives. 
Analyze a commonality in what we can see in these two monumental works of queer indigenous poetry, as well as at least one work from another queer poet to do. You may include outside research in this essay if you so choose.
b. Using “Diné Masculinities…” and “Chairmen, Presidents…” as a critical or theoretical framework for Diné Feminism, discuss the work of three Diné poets we’ve read. As Stevens and Diaz are not Diné, they should not be included in this essay; you must otherwise fulfill the requirements for this essay.
c. As we’ve discussed “in class”, Indigenous women suffer astronomical rates of intimate-partner violence, nearly 80% will suffer a sexual assault during their lifetimes due to such deep fetishization that—depending on who you talk to you—somewhere in the top five causes of death for Indigenous women is disappearance (you can use the hashtag #mmiw or #mmiwag or #mmiwga2s or #nomorestolensisters to springboard more research. These are acronyms, the longest of them means Missing and Murdered Indignous Women Girls and Two Spirits) many of which must be investigated by the FBI or Mounties in Canada, and they have notoriously done a terrible job investigating the disapearances and murders of indigenous people. 
Using Diaz and two other female-identifying or nonbinary, genderfluid, two spirit, non-male-identifying Indigenous writers we’ve read so far and analyze their discussion of some element of the violence they face. (This is not to say that Indigenous men do not suffer sexual violence or deadly force—from the ages of 18-45 in the United States, Native American men share the top five categories with African-American men ages 18-45 in terms of their likelihood of being killed by police). 
d. Analyze the kinds of intimate relationships we see and understand through Postcolonial Love Poem and “Tokinish” as well as at least one of the readings assigned during weeks 1-12. You could focus on positive intimate relationships or negative intimate relationships or a complicated in-between intimate relationships. You could focus on the relationships that are intimate but not sexual—such as between close friends or family members—or intimate and sexual—such as between intimate partners. 
e. If you found another way to talk about “Tokinish” and Postcolonial Love Poem including at least one reading that has been assigned during weeks 1-12, you may do so. 


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