Gardner, Susan. “Not for publication, or: on not (yet, anyway) producing bicultural Lumbee auto-ethnography.” SAIL (Studies in American Indian Literatures) 8.2 (Summer 1996): 29-45.
The author, an English professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, describes a class assignment she has used for a couple of years in a graduate course, “Native North American Indian autobiography.” Students took a field trip to Robeson County to interview a Lumbee elder. The assignment stated: “Devise your own form to render both your role and the Indian's voice in the narrative you will produce. How will you transform oral recollection to written (and, possibly, video-recorded and -edited) narrative?” (p. 31).
Gardner makes perceptive observations about various aspects of teaching the course and preparing the students for the assignment. She comments on finding examples or guidance for students on writing autobiography and on interviewing Native Americans; students' initial reservations about the assignment; and lack of guidance for the assignment from the existing literature on the Lumbee. To set up the interviews, Gardner used the expertise and Robeson County connections of Vail Carter and Rosa Winfree. Students attended the “Recollections: Lumbee Heritage” photographic exhibition at the Mint Museum in Charlotte before their trip to Robeson County. [For information on this exhibition, see the Photography category of this Web site.]