American Indian Studies Courses: Fall 2008/Spring 2009

FALL 2008 Course Offering

AIS 1100: Introduction to American Indian Studies I: Indigenous North America to 1890

Instructor: Prof. Jolene Rickard
TR: 1:25–2:40

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the cultures and histories of American Indian Nations north of Mexico to 1890. Lectures and discussion sections begin with a survey of the Precolumbian Indian occupation of North America, and then examine the political, economic, cultural, legal, and demographic consequences of European and American colonialism. The course will emphasize the contemporary relevance of traditional values, as well as the ways in which the deep past continues to affect the present and future of Indian peoples. Course materials will address Indian histories and cultures from a variety of perspectives, including those of the humanities, social sciences, and expressive arts.

AIS 3248: Iroquois Archaeology

Instructor: Prof. Kurt  Jordan
 TR: 10:10–11:25

This course surveys the long-term development of Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) culture from an archaeological perspective. Issues examined will include the origins of the Iroquois: material culture, settlement, and subsistence; the Iroquois Confederacy; responses to European encroachment; and contemporary Haudenosaunee perspectives on archaeology. Course requirements differ at the 300 and 600 levels.

AIS 3330: Indigenous and Local Ecological Knowledge

Instructor: Prof. Karim-Aly Kassam
TR: 8:40–9:55

Based on indigenous and local “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 local knowledge of natural resources, the non-human environment, and the human –environment interactions; and (3) reflects upon the relevance of this knowledge to climatic change, resource extraction, food sovereignty, and issues of sustainability and conversation.

AIS 4900: New World Encounters

Instructor: Prof. Jon Parmenter
R: 2:30–4:25

The discovery of the Americas, wrote Francisco Lopex de Gomara in 1552, was “the greatest event since the creation of the world, excepting the Incarnation and Death of Him who created it.” 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.

AIS 4970: Independent Study

Topic and credit hours to be mutually arranged between faculty and student. Independent study forms must be approved by American Indian program.

AIS 6248: Iroquois Archaeology

Instructor: Prof. Kurt Jordan
TR: 10:10–11:25

This course surveys the long-term development of Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) culture from an archaeological perspective. Issues examined will include the origins of the Iroquois: material culture, settlement, and subsistence; the Iroquois Confederacy; responses to European encroachment; and contemporary Haudenosaunee perspectives on archaeology. Course requirements differ at the 300 and 600 levels.

AIS 6970: Independent Study

A student may with approval of a faculty adviser, 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.


SPRING 2009 Course Offering

AIS 1110 /AMST 1601 Introduction to American Indian Studies II: Contemporary Issues in Indigenous North America

Instructor: Prof. Troy Richardson

This course provides an interdisciplinary focus upon issues in contemporary American Indian communities. Lectures and discussion sections will survey key moments in policy and law that (1) created the conditions for American and Canadian settlement; (2) reformulated traditional Indian governance and culture; and (3) created the dynamic interplay between American Indian Peoples and Nations with each other and with the state. This course will emphasize Indian sovereignty, nationhood, agency, and conditions of entanglement that formulated strategies of not only of American and Canadian settlement, but also resistance, dignity and autonomy for contemporary American Indian Peoples and Nations. Course materials will be drawn from the humanities, social science and expressive arts.

AIS 3400: Contested Terrain: Hawaii

Instructor, Prof. M. M. Hamabata

This course draws from the fields of history, political science, and sociology to present an historical understanding of contemporary Hawaiian society. Topics include Western contact, establishment of Western institutions, overthrow of a sovereign government, annexation, integration into the United States. Direct experience with Hawaiian leaders and institutions are incorporated to address contemporary issues: sovereignty, economic development/dependency, social change, and land use as a sociopolitical and cultural struggle. 

AIS 4600 Field and Analytical Methods in American Indian Archaeology

Instructor: Prof.  Kurt Jordan

This course provides a hands-on introduction to field, laboratory, and analytical methods in archaeology, focusing on historic-period American Indian sites in the Finger Lakes region. Students collectively will generate new archaeological data, beginning the semester with study of an under-considered archaeological museum collection, and moving to survey and excavation at an archaeological site as the weather permits. Students will have an opportunity to formulate and test their own research designs in laboratory and field settings. Readings will provide an in-depth immersion into field and laboratory methodology, research design, and the culture history and material culture typologies appropriate to the site and era. In addition to laboratory and field work, students will write a 15-page term paper based on original data which can draw on museum collections, field data, documentary sources, or a combination of these sources. Most class time will be spent off-campus; transportation will be arranged by the instructor. Permission of the Instructor is required; please contact the instructor for specific information about the sites and collections that will form the basis of the semester's work.

AIS 6010: American Indian Studies Pro-seminar

Graduate level course that will introduce students to on-going research in the field of American Indian Studies in proseminar / colloque format. Advanced graduate students are expected to present their work in progress and all are expected to attend all seminars and provide presenters with critical and constructive commentary on papers.

AIS 6710: Law and Literature in the Antebellum United States

As an example of the interdisciplinary action between law and literature, this course will focus on the relationship from the nineteenth century to the present between federal Indian law and American Indian literatures. The course will engage such topics as the limits of western law, the idea of postcoloniality, sovereignty and nation state, the Native critique of U.S. imperialism, and the question of interdisciplinarity itself. The readings will come from federal Indian case and statute law and native literatures, including among others the work of William Apress, Zitkala-Sa, Mourning Dove, D’Arcy McNickle, Wendy Rose, Gerald Vizenor, Simon Ortiz, Linda Hogan, and Leslie, Marmon Sikko.

AIS 6970 Independent Study in American Indian Studies

Instructor: 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.