Back to top

American Indian Studies Courses: Fall 2011/Spring 2012

FALL 2011 Course Offering

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

Instructor: Prof. Kurt Jordan

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 2400 - Indigenous Women's Experiences

Instructor: Prof. Lisa Hall

This course explores a wide variety of issues faced by indigenous women in the US. Readings primarily focus on American Indian and Native Hawaiian issues but students are welcome to incorporate other indigenous groups in their class presentations and/or final papers if desired. Issues to be discussed include the gendered and sexual nature of colonialism, colonialism and sexual violence, bio-colonialism, legal and community-based identities, and cultural resistance and creativity.

AIS 6010 American Indian Studies Pro-seminar

Instructor: Prof. Paul Nadasdy 

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.

SPRING 2012 Course Offering

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

Instructor: Prof. Troy Richardson

Interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary issues in American Indian country north of Mexico after 1890. Examines Indian sovereignty, nationhood, agency, and engagement through time using the perspective of American Indian studies. Course materials are drawn from the humanities, social science, and expressive arts.

AIS 1121: Seeing Red: American Indian (Mis)Representations

Instructor: Prof. Whitney Mauer

What images come to mind when you think of American Indians? Do these images come from history lessons, movies and TV, personal experience? This course will address historic and contemporary (mis)representations of Indians in a variety of media. Through films, photographs, comic books, advertising, and literature including works by prominent Native writers and scholars, the class will consider a range of issues including ethics, power, authenticity and identity, and the tension between self-representation and representation by non-Natives. Assignments will include informal and formal writing assignments such as journaling, visual analysis, argument, and synthesis. Ample time will be devoted to in-class workshops in which students will explore various modes of writing and pre-writing, review and edit each others' drafts, and address questions about the writing process

AIS 2660: Introduction to Native American History

Instructor: Prof. Jon Parmenter

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.

AIS 3400: Contested Terrain: Hawaii

Instructor, Prof. M. M. Hamabata

This course, offered through Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' program in Hawaii, 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, and 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. Students should consult regarding the status of this course.

AIS 4000/600: Critical Approaches to American Indian Studies

Instructor: Prof. Troy Richardson

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.

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

Instructor: Prof. Paul Nadasdy

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 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 4720 Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples

Instructor: Prof. Kurt Jordan

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 Post Columbian culture contact and illustrate how archaeology can both supplement and challenge document-based histories. AIS 4970 Independent Study Staff. Topic and credit hours TBA between faculty member and student. The American Indian Program office must approve independent study forms.

AIS 6970 Individual 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.

DSOC 6350 - Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Instructor: Prof. Angela Gonzales

Explores ways in which processes of globalization affect indigenous peoples worldwide and the strategies indigenous peoples are using to deal with those pressures. At issue are the lands, resources, traditional knowledge, and indigenous struggles for recognition and self-determination.

AIS 7720 Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples

Instructor: Prof. Kurt Jordan

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 Post Columbian culture contact and illustrate how archaeology can both supplement and challenge document-based histories.