Jan. 29 - April 2, 2018 - Taos Culture Course Announced: Literary Non-Fiction - Mondays from 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 01:31

Locals and Taosenos, whether Native or Newcomer, will find the literature described in the course below helpful in surveying Taos History and Culture this spring.

Length: 10 Weeks Jan. 29—April. 2, 2018
Day: Mondays from 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Place: Manzanita Market, 103 N. Plaza
Information: bwhaley@newmex.com
(575) 776-4115
Discussion Leader, Bill Whaley
Course Cost: $50.00


This Spring Bill Whaley and the Manzanita Market offer local residents a course in Taos Culture focused on the identity of the place and people in what N. Scott Momaday and others call “the soul of the Southwest.” Lectures and discussion will consider four major works: Hampton Sides’ Blood and Thunder; R.C. Gordon-McCutchan’s Taos Indians and the Battle for Blue Lake; Lois Rudnick’s Utopian Vistas; and Sylvia Rodriguez’s Acequia: Water Sharing, Sanctity, and Place.

The selected literary works are chosen for their insights, research, and accessibility. If not available at local bookstores, books can be purchased at modest prices on Amazon. The instructor encourages civil discussion and discourages quizzes and papers. Bring your book, your brain, and a seat cushion to evening discussions.


Blood and ThunderHampton Sides’ Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West (3 weeks) presents an exciting and fast-paced history, which features Taos as home to Kit Carson, the controversial symbol and ambiguous agent of Manifest Destiny. The reverberations of “Bloody Taos,” the Bent slaughter and reactionary Taos Pueblo Massacre, can still be felt in the archives of Taos history. The protagonist of 19th Century dime novels and unparalleled tracker Kit Carson remains a controversial symbol of American colonization.

Taos IndiansGordon-McCutchan’s epic tale of the Taos Indians Taos and the Battle for Blue Lake (2 weeks) is a political thriller, narrating how a penniless indigenous Tribe from Taos set Washington D.C. on fire and changed the course of Native American rights. The Taos Pueblo legacy still smolders in the resistance seen at Standing Rock. A former student from Taos Pueblo said in a prior course, after reading McCutchan’s book, “I’ve never been so proud of my people.” Nixon never seemed more human.

UtopianLois Rudnick’s Utopian Vistas (2 weeks) follows the history of the Mabel Dodge Luhan house from its founding in the early 20th Century as a nexus of art and political influence to the anti-authoritarian era of Dennis Hopper. The Luhan house and saga of Mabel’s connections gained recognition for Taos as a cross-cultural art center and played a role in the defeat of the Bursum Bill, the return of Blue Lake, and the delivery of social programs to Taos during the New Deal Era.

AcequiaIn Sylvia Rodriguez’s Acequia: Water Sharing, Sanctity, and Place (2 weeks), the author makes the case for the legacy of self-sufficient Hispanic engineering and irrigation, grounded in spirituality and the parciante culture. Acequia is a must read for those interested in understanding the practice and implementation of the Abeyta—Taos Pueblo Water Settlement and the notion that Aqua es Vida.

Mr. Whaley has taught a number of courses on Taos Culture for UNM’s Bachelor and Graduate Extended University. He will provide excerpts from Severin M. Fowles “An Archaeology of Doings: Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion” (School for Advanced Research Press); Sylvia Rodriguez’s “Tourism, Whiteness, and the Vanishing Anglo, ” In Seeing and Being Seen: Tourism in the American West, ed. by David M. Wrobel and Patrick T. Long, University of Kansas Press, pp. 194-210, 2001; Suzanne Forrest’s “The Preservation of the Village” (UNM Press); George I. Sanchez’s “Forgotten People” and the Taos Pueblo/Abeyta Water Settlement.

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 02:23