Introduction quiz

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(1) Which of the following best describes North American Native culture in 1492?

  1. A collection of centralized nation states sharing important linguistic and cultural commonalities and a variety of established literary forms

  2. A collection of peoples who spoke hundreds of different languages belonging to entirely different linguistic families, who structured their societies in widely diverse forms and developed diverse and sophisticated oral cultures

  3. A group of largely unrelated peoples with few established political structures and few forms of cultural expression

  4. We have no way of knowing what North American Native cultures looked like in 1492.

(2) Which European country had the most dominant and aggressive imperial presence in the Americas before 1570?

  1. England

  2. Spain

  3. Portugal

  4. France

(3) Which of the following was NOT a genre or type of text that appeared regularly in the body of literature produced by sixteenth-century Europeans involved in the exploration of America?

  1. Propaganda, including lush descriptions of the new world

  2. Theatrical pieces representing the political maneuverings of Europeans inside colonial outposts

  3. Political briefs meant to inform or influence policy decisions made at a distance

  4. Subversive or even mutinous literature of witness

(4) What metaphor did John Winthrop, the first governor of the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony, use to characterize the Puritan colony and to remind the Puritans that they would be an example to all?

  1. A beacon in the wilderness

  2. A brightly shining star

  3. A city on a hill

  4. A fortress in hostile territory

(5) What is the Puritan doctrine of election?

  1. The insistence that all secular governments must be instituted democratically, through elections

  2. The demand that all candidates for secular political office be established church members

  3. The belief that all people, whether or not they have consciously accepted Christian salvation, will be saved by Christ

  4. The belief that God had chosen, before their birth, the people he would save and the people he would damn

(6) What transformation enabled Westerners to understand Native American oral traditions as “literary”?

  1. The Romantic era shift in the meaning of literature in European cultures

  2. The decision by many Native groups to rely mostly on written versions of oral literature

  3. The discovery among Western literary critics of sophisticated figurative language in the oral literature

  4. The production of sound recordings that made it possible to reproduce and distribute consistent versions of oral literature

(7) The “new world” can most usefully and accurately be thought of as:

  1. A radically unfamiliar land that Europeans explored with wonder and a sense of discovery

  2. An uncharted geography that Europeans approached with ruthless commercial aspirations and a brutal willingness to destroy natural and human resources

  3. The homelands of a variety of Native peoples, which they attempted to defend from the incursions of European colonizers

  4. A genuinely new set of social relationships characterized by initial wonder, followed by cultural borrowing, political wrangling, and resourceful exploitation, by all the peoples brought into contact with one another

(8) How did the Spanish colonizers deal with the decimation of the Native populations with which they came into contact in the Caribbean and the mainlands of Central and South America?

  1. They quickly instituted effective reforms to prevent the mistreatment of Natives.

  2. They sent Spanish doctors to America and set up hospitals to try to ease the spread of disease epidemics.

  3. They forced more and more Spanish peasants to immigrate to America to do the labor they had initially counted on Natives to perform.

  4. They introduced African slavery into their colonies and forced the slaves to do the labor they had initially counted on Natives to perform.

(9) Which of the following represents an important difference between the groups known as the Pilgrims and the Puritans?

  1. The Pilgrims wanted to separate from the established Church of England; the Puritans wished to purify the church from within.

  2. The Pilgrims believed in the doctrine of election; the Puritans did not.

  3. The Puritans settled in Virginia; the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth.

  4. The Puritans recognized the sacrament of communion; the Pilgrims did not.

(10) Bringing oral literature to page always involves not just translation of Native words into English words, but also another kind of translation. What is it?

  1. The translation of musical forms that are resistant to Western notation

  2. The inclusion of appropriate historical and social contextualization for the literature

  3. The translation of the physically embodied, performative quality of oral literature

  4. Notation of age and sex of the speaker, which was always crucial to meaning of Native oral tales

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