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Reading: Treuer, David. “Digital Indians: 1990-2018,” The Heartbeat of Wounded K


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Treuer, David. “Digital Indians: 1990-2018,” The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, Penguin, 2019, pp. 409-443.
Luiselli, Valeria. Selections in Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, Coffee House Press, 2017.
Treuer (2019) in “Digital Indians: 1990-2018” from The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee describes how Native protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline “got violent fast” when peaceful protesters met authorities simultaneously violating and trying to uphold the law (435). Later, he notes that protester “break the ‘rules’ […] in order to convince the rule makers that they need to change the rules” (438). Luiselli similarly writes of violence and its encounter with the law, including “the piece of paper that haunted me for so long,” the police report that Manu—a Honduran teenager and asylum seeker—filed after witnessing his friend’s murder at the hands of Barrio 18 (75).
Both authors discuss violence: violence in the past and present, violence upheld through and with the law. This violence is not only physical, but violence as violation: violence of Native relocation and exclusion (Treuer 417, 424) as well as violence that requires children to prove their traumatic “battle wounds” to the U.S. legal system in order to legitimize their right to safety (Luiselli 61).
Using textual evidence from both pieces, please compose an argument in response to the following question: How and to what extent are the law and violence dependent on one another?
Thinking Questions:
Below are some further questions that may be useful to consider in generating your argument. Remember that you only need to address the above prompt in bold: Who encounters laws and the legal system in these texts? Where does power reside in these encounters?
What are examples of violence in the text?
Is the law automatically ethical?
Does the law require violence to function properly?
How can we conceive of violence as more than physical?
How do the authors write about the unjust status quo that the law upholds?
What are cases of progress, in the texts, that require activism and activity outside of the law? Or even violent confrontation against the law?
Required formatting:
You must proofread carefully.
Quotations should be carefully transcribed, punctuated, and attributed. For bibliographic conventions, you may use MLA (preferred), APA, or Chicago style. Please follow the conventions of standard edited American English. Use 1.0-inch margins on all sides, double-spacing, and twelve-point font. Number all pages. The paper should have your name, the date, and course information on the first page. Title your paper.


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