American Indian and Indigenous Studies

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What can an American Indian and Indigenous Studies course do for you?

It can make you uniquely competitive as a multidisciplinary thinker.

 

Spring 2018 Course Roster

AIIS 1110 – INDIGENOUS ISSUES IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Professor Troy Richardson| MoWed 11:15-12:05PM Discussion Sections          (Tu 12:20-1:10PM) (We1:25-2:15PM) (Th 11:15-12:05PM)| AMST 1601

This course attends to the contemporary issues, contexts and experiences of Indigenous peoples. Students will develop a substantive understanding of colonialism and engage in the parallels and differences of its histories, forms, and effects on Indigenous peoples globally.  Contemporary Indigenous theorists, novelists, visual artists and historians have a prominent place in the course, highlighting social/environmental philosophies, critical responses to and forms of resistance toward neocolonial political and economic agendas and the fundamental concern for Indigenous self determination, among other topics.

Distribution Category (CA-AG, D-AG, HA-AG)

AIIS 2660 – EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT INDIANS IS WRONG: UNLEARNING NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY

Professor Jon Parmenter |MoWeFr 9:05-9:55AM | HIST 2660, AMST2660

One thing many Americans think they know is their Indians: Pocahontas, the First Thanksgiving, fighting cowboys, reservation poverty, and casino riches. Under our very noses, however, Native American history has evolved into one of the most exciting, dynamic, and contentious fields of inquiry into America’s past. It is now safer to assume, as Comanche historian Paul Chaat Smith has pointed out, that everything you know about Indians is in fact wrong. Most people have much to “unlearn” about Native American history before true learning can take place. This course aims to achieve that end by (re)introducing students to key themes and trends in the history of North America’s indigenous nations. Employing an issues-oriented approach, the course stresses the ongoing complexity of Native American societies’ engagements with varieties of settler colonialism since 1492 and dedicates itself to a concerted program of myth-busting. As such, the course will provide numerous opportunities for students to develop their critical thinking and reading skills. (HPE)

Distribution Category (HB, HA-AS)

AIIS 3248 – FINGER LAKES AND BEYOND: ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE NATIVE NORTHEAST

Professor Kurt Jordan | TuTh 8:40 - 9:55AM | AMST 3248, ANTHR 3248, ARKEO 3248

Co-meets with AIIS 6248 /AMST 6248 /ARKEO 6248 /ANTHR 6248 

For description, see ANTHR 3248. This course provides a long-term overview of the indigenous peoples of Cornell’s home region and their neighbors from an archaeological perspective.  Cornell students live and work in the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Iroquois, and this class will help residents to understand the deep history of this place. We will examine long-term changes in material culture, settlement, subsistence, and trade; the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; indigenous responses to European and American colonization; the practicalities of doing indigenous-site archaeology in New York State; and contemporary indigenous perspectives on archaeology. Visits to local archaeological sites and museum collections will supplement classroom instruction.

AIIS 3330 – WAYS OF KNOWING: INDIGENOUS AND PLACE-BASED ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

Dr. Karim-Aly Kassam | TuTh 8:40-9:55AM | AMST 3330, NTRES 3330

Based on indigenous and place-based “ways of knowing,” this course (1) presents a theoretical and humanistic framework from which to understand generation of ecological knowledge; (2) examines processes by which to engage indigenous and place-based knowledge of natural resources, the nonhuman environment, and human-environment interactions; and (3) reflects upon the relevance of this knowledge to climatic change, resource extraction, food sovereignty, medicinal plant biodiversity, and issues of sustainability and conservation.  The fundamental premise of this course is that human beings are embedded in their ecological systems.

Distribution Category  (CA-AG, D-AG, SBA-AG) (CU-CEL, CU-ITL, CU-SBY)

AIIS 2350 – ARCHAEOLOGY OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS

Professor Kurt Jordan | TuTh 2:55 - 4:10PM | AIIS/AMST 2350, ANTHR/ARKEO 2235

This introductory course surveys archaeology's contributions to the study of American Indian cultural diversity and change in North America north of Mexico. Lectures and readings will examine topics ranging from the debate over when the continent was first inhabited to present-day conflicts between Native Americans and archaeologists over excavation and the interpretation of the past. We will review important archaeological sites such as Chaco Canyon, Cahokia, Lamoka Lake, and the Little Bighorn battlefield. A principal focus will be on major transformations in lifeways such as the adoption of agriculture, the development of political-economic hierarchies, and the disruptions that accompanied the arrival of Europeans to the continent.

Distribution Category (CA-AG, D-AG, HA-AG)

AIIS 3422 – CULTURE, POLITICS, AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE CIRCUMPOLAR NORTH

Professor Paul Nadasdy | TuTh 10:10-11:25AM | ANTRH 3422

Co-meets with AIIS 6422 /ANTHR 6422 .

This course examines the cultures and histories of the circumpolar North. The primary emphasis is on the North American Arctic and Subarctic with some attention to northern Eurasia for comparative purposes. The focus is on the indigenous peoples of the region and the socio-political and ecological dimensions of their evolving relationships with southern industrial societies.

Distribution Category (CA-AG, D-AG)

AIIS 4000 – CRITICAL APPROACHES TO AMERICAN INDIAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES: INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

AIIS Staff | Wed 1:25-4:25pm

Enrollment limited to: advanced undergraduates. Co-meets with AIIS 6000 . Course requirements differ at 4000 and 6000 levels.

An interdisciplinary survey of the literature in Native American Studies. Readings engage themes of indigeneity, coloniality, power, and “resistance.” The syllabus is formed from some “classic” and canonical works in Native American Studies but also requires an engagement with marginal writings and theoretical and historical contributions from scholars in other disciplines.

AIIS 4200 –LOCKE AND THE PHILOSOPHIES OF DISPOSSESION: INDIGENOUS AMERICA'S INTERRUPTIONS AND RESISTANCES

Professor Troy Richardson | Mon 1:25-4:25PM | AMST 4220, PHIL 4941

Recommended prerequisite: AIIS 1110  and AIIS 4000 /AIIS 6000 . Co-meets with AIIS 6200 /AMST 6220 /PHIL 6941 .

This course looks at the philosopher John Locke as a philosopher of dispossession. There is a uniquely Lockean mode of missionization, conception of mind and re-formulations of the ‘soul’ applied to dispossess Indigenous peoples of the social institutions, intellectual traditions and the material bases and practices which sustain(ed) them. While colonization is typically used as a kind of shorthand for this process, we will be attempting to stay focused on the specific dimensions of Lockean dispossession and its mutually informing relationship with English colonialism.

AIIS 4670 – NATIVE AMERICAN POETRY OF RESISTANCE

Professor Carol Warrior | AMST 4670, ENGL 4670

What techniques, tools, and contexts are needed to perform reasonably well-informed readings and interpretations of Native American poetry? If a poem illuminates an injustice, what historical context do we need to know? When a poet depicts a humorous image or celebrates the body of a lover, does the poem – by virtue of its authorship – disturb stereotypes? These questions and more will direct our inquiry into how Indigenous poets represent and strategically re-invent Euro-American literary forms to revitalize Indigenous aesthetic traditions and register resistance to oppression. We’ll read numerous Indigenous poetic voices from across the continent, and see how they range from caustic criticism of EuroAmerican values, celebrate Indigenous relationships to place, and reject the role of victim or subjugation through trickster play and humor.

AIIS 4900 –NEW WORLD ENCOUNTERS, 1500-1800

Professor Jon Parmenter | Mon 12:20-2:15pm| HIST 4900, AMST 4900

The discovery of the Americas, wrote Francisco Lopez de Gomara in 1552, was “the greatest event since the creation of the world, excepting the Incarnation and Death of Him who created.” Five centuries have not diminished either the overwhelming importance or the strangeness of the early encounter between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Taking a comparative approach, this course will conceptualize early American history as the product of reciprocal cultural encounters by assessing the various experiences of Spanish, French, and English newcomers in different regions of the Americas. Critical interpretation of primary source material will be emphasized in the course, as will the development of students’ ability to reflect critically on these documents, taking into account the perspective of both the colonizers and the colonized. 

Distribution Category (HA-AS)

AIIS 4970 INDEPENDENT STUDY

Instructor: Staff | Time: TBD

The American Indian Program office must approve independent study forms. Students from all colleges must submit a CALS Special Studies form available online. Topic and credit hours TBA between faculty member and student.

Distribution Category (CU-UGR)

AIIS 6970 INDEPENDENT STUDY

Instructor: Staff | Time: TBD

A student may, with approval of a faculty advisor, study a problem or topic not covered in a regular course or may undertake tutorial study of an independent nature in an area of interest in American Indian and Indigenous Studies.

Distribution Category (CU-UGR)

ARTH 3902 – CURATORIAL INTERVENTIONS

Professor Jolene Rickard |

Permission of instructor required. Co-meets with ARTH 6902

The intersectionality between the political landscapes of nation spaces, economic and political forces will be undertaken through curatorial practices for museums and the art market including international biennials. What is the value in considering internal nation-state and Indigenous relationships on the international scene through artistic expression? Can this kind of international art world attention divulge anything missed in more direct political engagement? Reconsider curating practice as an intervention in the role museums and art world spaces play in the process of decolonization and the flow of cultural knowledge. Structured as a tutorial, this is a reading and discussion intensive course with limited enrollment.

Distribution Category (GB) (CA-AS)

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