New Class to Shed Light on Indigenous Boarding Schools

August 5, 2021

Cristina Stanciu, an associate professor of English and current director of the Humanities Research Center will shed light on indigenous boarding schools in her new course, ENGL 358: The Literature of Indigenous Boarding Schools starting this fall. 

The class will spotlight the history and representation of the boarding schools, which aimed to assimilate Native American children and destroy Indigenous cultures and communities. The United States began establishing and supporting Indian boarding schools across the nation starting with the Civilization Fund Act of 1819.

While the focus of the VCU course will be on Native American boarding and residential schools supported by the federal governments of the United States and Canada, it will also include Aboriginal students’ experiences in other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand.  

“This is a great opportunity to teach history through literature,” Stanciu said. “You can’t really teach Indigenous literature without Indigenous history.”

For more information, please check out the recent article in VCU News.