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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.

Fall 2020 Course Roster

AIIS 1100 –Indigenous North America

Professor Eric Cheyfitz | 3 credits | TuTh 1:25PM-2:40PM Plus discussion section | AMST 1600

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the diverse cultures, histories and contemporary situations of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Students will also be introduced to important themes in the post-1492 engagement between Indigenous and settler populations in North America and will consider the various and complex ways in which that history affected - and continues to affect - American Indian peoples and societies. Course materials draw on the humanities, social sciences, and expressive arts.

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

AIIS 2420 - Nature/Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human-Environment Relations

Professor Paul Nadasdy | 3 credits | MoWe 2:55PM-4:10PM Plus discussion section | ANTHR 2420, BSOC 2420​​​​​​​

One of the most pressing questions of our time is how we should understand the relationship between nature (or “the environment”) and culture (or society) - and/or whether these should be viewed as separate domains at all.  How one answers this question has important implications for how we go about thinking and acting in such diverse social arenas as environmental politics, development, and indigenous-state relations.  This course serves as an introduction to the various ways anthropologists and other scholars have conceptualized the relationship between humans and the environment and considers the material and political consequences that flow from these conceptualizations. 

AIIS 2600 - Introduction to Native American Literature in the United States

Professor Eric Cheyfitz | 3 credits | TuTh 11:40AM-12:55PM | AMST 2600, ENGL 2600​​​​​​​

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to U.S. American Indian literatures, both oral and written. The method of studying these literatures will emphasize historical, legal, and cultural contexts as well as current critical debates over methodological approaches. In addition to examples of the oral tradition transcribed in writing, we will study a variety of written genres from their beginnings in the late eighteenth-century including autobiography, the essay, poetry, and fiction. We will begin the course by reading two translations from the oral tradition: Paul Radin's translation/compilation of Winnebago trickster narratives, and Paul Zolbrod's translation of the Diné Bahane´: The Navajo Creation Story. After that we will read a range of Native authors from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

LING/AIIS 3324 - Cayuga Language and Culture

Professor Jolene Rickard, Professor John Whitman,​​​​​​​
& Steve Henhawk, Gayogohó:no’/Cayuga Lecturer
3 credits | F 2:30PM - 4:25PM

An introduction to the language and culture of the Cayuga (Gayogohó:no’) people. Basic language instruction provided in an immersive learning environment, focusing on the relationship of language and culture to plants and growing. 

Note: Does not satisfy the Arts College language requirement.

AIIS 3330 - Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Place-Based Ecological Knowledge

Professor Karim-Aly Kassam | 3 credits | TuTh 8:40AM-9:55AM | NTRES 3330/6330, AMST 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)

AIIS 4300/6300 - Indigenous Peoples and De-colonial Philosophies

Professor Troy Richardson | 3 credits | Tu: 1:25PM-4:25PM​​​​​​​

Indigenous Peoples and De-Colonial Philosophies explores the formulations of de-colonization from multiple intellectual trajectories - namely the Fanonian, Latin American and Settler Colonial Studies orientations. The course pays particular attention to some of the central tenants elaborated across these traditions that provide for the philosophies of de-colonizing, placing them in critical conversation with American Indian and Indigenous scholarship. It will examine the differences and commonalities within and across these philosophies for de-colonization, with particular attention to how they describe relations to land and the political, socio-cultural practices for animating de-colonial present(s) and futures.

AIIS 6010 - American Indian and Indigenous Studies Speaker Series 

Professor Jolene Rickard | 1 credit | F 11:15AM-1:10PM | Open to the Public

Graduate-level course that introduces students to ongoing research in the field of American Indian Studies in a proseminar/colloquium format. Advanced graduate students are expected to present their work in progress; all are expected to attend each seminar and provide presenters with critical and constructive commentary on papers.

AIIS 4970/6970 – Independent Study in American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Faculty | Contact AIISP Staff

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 Studies.

Courses that are not cross-listed but may count towards the AIIS Minor

ANTHR 1200 - Ancient Peoples and Places

Professor John S. Henderson | 4 credits | TuTh 10:10AM-11:25AM | ARKEO 1200

A broad introduction to archaeology-the study of material remains to answer questions about the human past. Case studies highlight the variability of ancient societies and illustrate the varied methods and interpretive frameworks archaeologists use to reconstruct them. This course can serve as a platform for both archaeology and anthropology undergraduate majors.

Distribution Category (HA-AS)

ANTHR 4216/6256 - Maya History

Professor John Henderson | 4 credits | W 10:10AM-12:05PM | ARKEO 4216/6256, LATA 4215/6256