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American Indian Studies Courses: Fall 2009/Spring 2010

FALL 2009 Course Offering

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

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 Pre-columbian 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 2200: Field Course in Iroquois Archaeology

This course provides hands-on-training in archaeological methods through survey and excavation at historic-period Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) sites I the Finger Lakes region. Most class time will consist of supervised excavation of past residential and domestic areas, supplemented by lectures on archaeological methods and Iroquois history and material culture.

AIS 3330: Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Local Ecological Knowledge

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 4300: Native American Philosophies and the Limits of Capitalism's Imagination

This course will focus on American Indian, native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian social, spiritual, legal, political, aesthetic, scientific, environmental, and historical thought from the pre-invasion period before (1492) to present as it is contained in both oral narratives and written texts (non-fiction, fiction, and poetry).

AIS 4750/7720: Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples

Seminar examining the responses of indigenous peoples across the world to European expansion and colonialism over the past 500 years. Archaeological case studies from North America, Africa, and the Pacific provide a comparative perspective on Postcolumbian culture contact and illustrate how archaeology can both supplement and challenge document-based histories.

AIS 4970 Independent Study

Topic and credit hours TBA between faculty and student. The American Indian Program office must approve independent study.

AIS 6010 American Indian Studies Proseminar

Graduate-level course that introduces students to ongoing research in the filed 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.

AIS 6970 Individual Study in American Indian Studies

A student may, with approval of 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.


SPRING 2010 Course Offering

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

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)

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 3422/6422: Culture, Politics and Environment in the Circumpolar North

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.

AIS 4000 Critical Approaches to American Indian Studies

Prerequisite: Advanced undergraduates or Graduate students; permission of instructor.

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

AIS 4970 Independent Study

Topic and credit hours TBA between faculty and student. The American Indian Program office must approve independent study.

AIS 6000 Critical Approaches to American Indian Studies

Prerequisite: Advanced undergraduates or Graduate students; permission of instructor.

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

AIS 6970 Individual Study in American Indian Studies

A student may, with approval of 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.