ENGLISH 190: American Captivities

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  • Michaelyn Burnette
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  • Office Location: 438 Doe Library
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    510 664-9822

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).

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This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

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Journal Tips

Use E-Journal titles A-Z for the widest coverage of electronic journals.  Most are licensed and some are open access, that is, freely available.

When checking OskiCat or Melvyl to see if Berkeley subscribes to a journal, use the journal's title in the search and not the author or title of the article you want.  Oski does not list individual articles, and Melvyl has only a few. 

When the Oski record indicates that the library has e-access through several sources, that information lets you know that the title is important.

Older issues of paper journals are stored in NRLF; use Request in Oski to ask that journals be brought back to campus for you to use or to have NRLF staff scan the article you need and email it to you.

To find articles about your subject, use indexes.  The key index for literature is the Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB). 

JSTOR is a large database of over a 1000 scholarly journals, but publishers are allowed to embargo new issues from a time period of 1-10 years, so the newest issues may not be available. 

Project Muse offers newer issues of articles published in nearly 400 not-for-profit and scholarly journals.  Some journals offer all issues published while others offer only the newer ones.

Style Manuals

When preparing a bibliography, you’ll want to establish which style sheet your professor wishes you to use.  For undergraduate English classes, the preferred style sheet is often the Modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.  This publication also contains valuable information about the entire research process from choosing a topic, to avoiding plagiarism, to formatting the paper. 

 MLA handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th edition. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009.
Doe Reference Reference Hall LB2369 .G53 2009
Main Gardner Stacks LB2369 .G53 2009

 Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab created the MLA Formatting and Style Guide, which is quite useful. 

Other common style manuals:

Columbia Guide to Online Style (UCB-only access)
Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor. 2nd ed. NY: Columbia Univ. Press. 2006.

The Chicago Manual of Style (UCB-only access)
15th ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2003. Searchable, online version of the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition).

Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More (UCB-only access) Charles Lipson. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2006.


This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.


OskiCat is the online catalog for many of the campus libraries (but not all).  Oski will reveal which books and periodicals we have along with what's in our film and map collections.  It does not contain indivisual periodical articles; to find them, you must use indexes. 

A productive way to begin using Oski is by doing a key word search.  For instance, try this search:

indian* captivit* narrative*

At 3:28 on October 10, 2011, this search produced 523 records.  Using the box that, by default, says Entire Collection, you may sort the results or limit to specific formats or library locations.  You may also sort by date or title.  Let's take a look at a record:

Title Women's Indian captivity narratives / edited with an introduction and notes by Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola.
Imprint New York : Penguin Books, 1998.
 Permanent link for this record: http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b15166828~S1
Location Call No. Status    
 Moffitt  E85 .W85 1998    AVAILABLE

 Native American Studies  E85 .W85 1998    AVAILABLE 1 WEEK LOAN


Description xxxviii, 356 p. ; 20 cm.
Series Penguin classics

Penguin classics.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references.
Subject Indian captivities -- United States.

Women prisoners in literature.
Added Author Derounian-Stodola, Kathryn Zabelle, 1949-
ISBN 0140436715

From this record, you'll see the full title of the book, its editors, place and year of publication and publisher.  You'll also see that the book is available in two libraries, Moffitt and the Ethnic Studies Library (clicking on Native American Studies links you to Ethnic Studies).  You'll find the call number and see that neither copy is checked out.  Clicking on the Library of Congress Subject Heading Indian captivities--United States will lead you to more items with this particular subject heading.

      Let's look at another record from this search:

Author Christie, Stuart, 1967-
Title Plural sovereignties and contemporary indigenous literature / Stuart Christie.
Imprint New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
 Permanent link for this record: http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b17621407~S1
Location Call No. Status    
 Main (Gardner) Stacks  PS153.I52 C49 2009    DUE 11-05-11


Edition 1st ed.
Description xiv, 280 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [231]-265) and index.
Contents I: Representations -- Blood legacies: pathology and power in works / Sherman Alexie and A. A. Carr -- National captivity narratives in Welch, Silko, and Armstrong -- Trickster's gamble: capitalizing indigenous discourse in Vizenor's The heirs of Columbus and Erdrich's The bingo palace -- II: Futures -- Recovering sovereignty in Louis Owen's Dark river -- Indigenous wormholes: reading plural sovereignties in works / Thomas King.
Subject American literature -- Indian authors -- History and criticism.

Identity (Psychology) in literature.

Racially mixed people -- United States -- Intellectual life.

Racially mixed people -- Canada -- Intellectual life.

Indians of North America -- Intellectual life.

Racially mixed people in literature.

Imperialism in literature.

Indians in literature.
ISBN 023061342X (alk. paper)

Click on Christie's name.  Has he written other books?  on this subject?  Who publishes his books--you're starting to establish Christie's expertise on the subject. What do you know, if anything, about the press?  The records shows that Christie includes a bibliography of references, and the length of the bibliography indicates that it's extensive and might be helpful to you in your research.  You may also look for book reviews in America: History and Life or in Academic Search Complete.  What do you know, if anything, about the press? 

When a book is checked out, use the Request buttom just under the blue Oski banner to initiate a recall.  The library will get in touch with the person who has the book and ask that it be returned within the next week. Use the Request button to bring back items stored in NRLF, the regional storage facility.



Most databases offer help screens with information about structuring your search and other tips.  Often the links to help are in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  Familiarizing yourself with the database's protocols is a good way to produce successful searches. 

Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) (UCB only) The MLAIB is the largest index of critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore, containing over 2 million citations.  The online version starts with the 1926 annual bibliography, but coverage of JSTOR titles goes back to the first issue published. 

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)  (UCB only) Published by the Modern Humanities Research Association, ABELL indexes materials about works originally written in English. Should be searched in conjunction with the MLAIB since the two indexes have only about 60-70% overlap in coverage.   ABELL began in 1921 and does include book reviews of scholarly books.

Academic Search Complete (UCB only)   A multidisciplinary index to articles in thousands of journals with full-text for many. 

America: History and Life    Index to scholarship about U.S. and Canadian history.  

Historical Abstracts   Index to historical scholarship about the rest of the world. 

Black Studies Center (BSC)     Includes The Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, The International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), and the full text backfile of The Chicago Defender (1910-1975).

Primary Sources

Archive of Americana     A family of primary source collections providing references to books, pamphlets, broadsides (Early American Imprints, Series I (1639-1800) and Series II (1801-1819)), newspapers (Early American Newspapers) and government publications (American State Papers and U.S. Congressional Serial Set).

 American Periodicals Series Online, 1740-1900   Contains digitized images of more than 1,100 periodicals. Includes special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically significant magazines.

19th Century U.S. Newspapers    Images of both full pages and clipped articles for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.

Periodicals Index Online      Indexes millions of articles published in over 6,000 periodicals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences and published between 1665-1995.

Periodicals Archive Online    An online periodical archive that provides access to some 600 digitized journals in the humanities and social sciences.   

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