Fall 2016/Spring 2017

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

It can make you uniquely competitive as a multidisciplinary thinker.



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

Professor Kurt Jordan | TR 1:25 pm- 2:40 pm | Cross-list: AMST 1600, ANTHR 1700

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.

AIS 2390: Seminar in Iroquois History

Professor Jon Parmenter | TR 1:25 pm- 2:40 pm | Cross-list – AMST 2390, HIST 2390

This seminar explores the history and culture of Iroquois people from ancient times, through their initial contacts with European settlers, to their present-day struggles and achievements under colonial circumstances in North America. Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, students will be exposed to a variety of methodologies and approaches to reconstructing the Iroquois past. Readings and discussions will be drawn from a range of sources, with special emphasis on historical documents. In addition to these texts, we will read traditional narratives, archaeological reports, ethnography, contemporary Iroquois literature, online resources, and museum exhibits of material culture.

AIS 2600: Introduction to Native American Literature

Instructor Carol Warrior | MW 2:55 pm- 4:10 pm | Cross-list: AMST 2600, ENGL 2600

Both oral and written, Native literatures of the U.S. comprise a critical commentary on a range of ongoing issues facing the international community: the environment, sustainability, gender, capitalism, and colonialism. This course will discuss these issues from a Native perspective in fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and traditional oral narratives, ranging from before the European invasion of the Americas (1492) to the present, where  since the 1960s Native writers have been winning distinguished literary awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

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

Professor Karim-Aly Kassam | TR 8:40 am- 9:55 am | Cross-list: AMST 3330, NTRES 3330, NTRES 6330

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.

AIS 3560: Thinking from a Different Place: Indigenous Philosophies

Instructor Carol Warrior | MWF 11:15 am- 12:05 pm | Cross-list: AMST 3562, ENGL 3560

The Western nation-state has failed to solve the two most pressing, indeed catastrophic, global problems: poverty and climate change. This failure is due to the inability of national policy to imagine a world beyond a boundary drawn by the formative capitalist ideas of property, production, and profit. The course will begin by discussing the historical origin and continuing force of these ideas while raising questions about their limits. It will look at a range of alternative ideas about how the world should work if we want to keep it socially, economically, and ecologically in balance. The alternatives we will query come from a range of Indigenous writers of fiction, poetry, and theory, who locate themselves in Native American (north and south), Aboriginal, and Maori communities.

AIS 4970: Independent Study

Staff | Time/ Location: TBD

The American Indian Program office must approve independent study forms. Students from all colleges must submit a CALS Special Studies form available online.

AIS 6010: American Indian and Indigenous Studies Speaker Series

Professor Troy Richardson | F 11:15 am- 1:10 pm

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.

AIS 6970: Independent Study in American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Staff | Time/ Location: 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 Studies.

Courses that are not cross-listed, but may count towards an AIISP minor:

ANTHR 4220/7220; ARCHEO 4220/7220: Inkas and their Empire

Professor John Henderson | Mo 12:20 pm- 2:15 pm

In little more than a century the Inkas created an empire stretching thousands of kilometers along the Andean spine from Ecuador to Chile. This course focuses on the political and economic structure of the empire and on its roots in earlier Andean prehistory. Archaeological remains, along with documents produced in the aftermath of the Spanish invasion, will be used to trace the history of Inka territorial organization, statecraft, and economic relationships and the Colonial transformation of Andean societies.

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

Professor Paul Nadasdy | MoWe 10:10AM - 11:00AM

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.

ANTHR 4725/7725: American Indian Lands and Sovereignties

Professor Paul Nadasdy | We 2:30PM- 4:25PM

The relationship between North American Indian peoples and the states of Canada and the US is in many ways unique, the product of centuries of trade compacts, treaties, legislation, warfare, land claim negotiations, and Supreme Court (both US and Canadian) decisions. Those trying to make sense of the cross-cultural terrain of Indian-State relations find that apparently straightforward political and legal concepts such as "land," "property," "sovereignty," and "identity" often seem inadequate, based as they are on European cultural assumptions. These terms tend to take on new - and often ambiguous - meanings in the realm of Indian-State relations. In the first part of this course, we will explore some of these ambiguous meanings, paying attention to the cultural realities they reflect and the social relationships they help shape. In the second part of the course, we will get a sense of the complex interplay of legal, political, and cultural forces discussed earlier in the semester by taking an in-depth look at several selected case studies.

Other courses with Indigenous content:

FWS: ENGL 1158, Sem 104: Listening to Indigenous Voices/Solving Global Problems

Professor Eric Cheyfitz | MW 2:55PM - 4:10PM 

Evidence tells us that the world today is threatened by massive social and environmental imbalances: poverty, climate change, and continuing population explosion. After considering the causes of these imbalances under a regime of global capitalism, this course will look at a range of alternative ideas, specifically from Indigenous thinkers, about how the world should work if we want to keep it socially and ecologically in balance. The alternatives we will query come from a range of Indigenous writers of fiction, poetry, and theory, who locate themselves in Native American (north and south), Aboriginal, and Maori communities. Writing assignments will be based on critical encounters with these texts.