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Fall 2017/Spring 2018

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

It can make you uniquely competitive as a multidisciplinary thinker.

 

FALL 2016 Course Roster

AIIS 1110 – INDIGENOUS NORTH AMERICA

Professor Paul Nadasdy | TuTh 1:25 - 2:40PM | 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.

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

AIIS 1120 – SCIENCE MEETS SPIRIT: INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Professor Jane Mt. Pleasant | TuTh 8:40 - 9:55AM | FWS 1120

Native peoples across the Western hemisphere use knowledge systems that differ fundamentally from those of Western science. Using traditional oral as well as written texts and contemporary writings by Native and non-Native scholars, we will examine the tensions and complementarities of these two knowledge systems. Using Iroquois knowledge systems in the northeast as a focal point, we will examine how they conceptualized their ecosystem and used it for agriculture, comparing it to resource management based on Western science. We will also explore how contemporary indigenous communities negotiate with non-Indian scientists, policy-makers, and legislators across boundaries that reflect very different ways of knowing. Through reading and writing activities, students will critically examine these issues and define their own views on what constitutes knowledge.

AIIS 1121 – ENVIRONMENTALISM: IMPERATIVE, INDIFFERENT, OR IMPERIALIST?

Instructor: Samuel Bosco | TuTh 10:10-11:25PM | FWS 1121

What counts as part of the environment? What is worth protecting? What is natural? Who gets to answer these questions and whose answers matter? In this course you will encounter various forms of environmentalist discourse through the varied voices of anthropologists, ecologists, philosophers, and activists. Particularly, we will wrestle with how to understand the relationship between nature (or, “the environment”) and culture (or, “society”), and the political, economic, cultural, and developmental consequences of such conceptualizations, with attention to Indigenous-state relations. Reflection assignments and class discussions will sharpen our analysis and writing skills to critically examine the positions we engage with while larger position papers will mobilize these skills to sustain a more complex argument.

AIIS 2350 – ARCHAEOLOGY OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS

Professor Kurt Jordan | TuTh 2:55 - 4:10PM | AIIS/AMST 2350, ANTHR/ARKEO 2235

This introductory course surveys archaeology's contributions to the study of American Indian cultural diversity and change in North America north of Mexico. Lectures and readings will examine topics ranging from the debate over when the continent was first inhabited to present-day conflicts between Native Americans and archaeologists over excavation and the interpretation of the past. We will review important archaeological sites such as Chaco Canyon, Cahokia, Lamoka Lake, and the Little Bighorn battlefield. A principal focus will be on major transformations in lifeways such as the adoption of agriculture, the development of political-economic hierarchies, and the disruptions that accompanied the arrival of Europeans to the continent.

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

AIIS 2350 – INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN INDIAN LITERATURE

Professor Carol Warrior | MoWe 2:55 - 4:10PM | AIIS/AMST/ENGL 2600

The production of North American Indigenous literatures began long before European colonization, and persists in a variety of printed, sung, carved, painted, written, spoken, and digital media. From oral traditions transmitted through memory and mnemonics to contemporary innovations, Native North American authorial techniques layer Indigenous perspectives on social, political, and environmental experience, through deft artistry and place-specific aesthetics. Our attention will focus on the relationships and contexts from which particular Native American literatures emerge, and ethical considerations associated with entering Indigenous territory, both figuratively and literally. In response to a selection of traditional stories, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and a graphic novel or two, we will examine how Native literatures voice scathing critiques of settler-colonial values and practices, and yet challenge, delight, and intrigue their readers.

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

AIIS 3560 – THINKING FROM A DIFFERENT PLACE: INDIGENOUS PHILOSOPHIES

Professor Eric Cheyfitz | TuTh 10:10am - 11:25AM | ENGL 3560, AMST 3562

Native and Western philosophies serve similar functions: they organize societies and construct those taken-for-granted truths we all operate from, but rarely examine. Even as such "truths" create ideas about how the world and universe work, these differences can be a source of conflict between people groups. In this class, we'll examine how Indigenous knowledge systems are formed and expressed, and what can be the result when people with conflicting knowledge systems interact with one another. Through readings, discussions, lectures, films, a guest presentation, group work, and other course assignments, we'll consider Indigenous North American knowledge systems and worldviews with a particular eye toward how these ideas are related to geographic space, social structure, culture, science, and contemporary global problems.

AIIS 4625 – CONTEMPORARY NATIVE AMERICAN FICTION

Professor Eric Cheyfitz | TuTh 1:25 - 2:40PM | ENGL 4625

If you haven't read contemporary U.S. American Indian fiction, then it might be fair to ask how much you know about the United States, its origins and its current condition. Since the 1960s, American Indians have been producing a significant body of award-wining novels and short stories. In 1969, for example, N. Scott Momaday, from the Kiowa nation, won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel House Made of Dawn and in 2012 Louise Erdrich, who is Anishinaabe, won the National Book Award for her novel, The Round House. In between these two notable moments we can list an impressive number of Native storytellers whose work is aesthetically powerful, offering us a narrative of the United States that counters the official history.

AIIS 6010 – AMERICAN INDIAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES SPEAKER SERIES SEMINAR

Professor Troy Richardson | 11:15-1:10PM 

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  INDEPENDENT STUDY

Instructor: Staff | Time: TBD

The American Indian Program office must approve independent study forms. Students from all colleges must submit a CALS Special Studies form available online. Topic and credit hours TBA between faculty member and student.

AIIS 6970  INDEPENDENT STUDY

Instructor: Staff | Time: 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 and Indigenous Studies.

HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

Professor Kurt Jordan | TuTh 10:10AM - 11:25AM | ARKEO/ANTHR 3210, AMST 3200

This course uses artifacts, spaces, and texts to examine the emergence of the "modern world" in the 500-plus years since Columbus.  This is a distinctive sub-field of archaeology, not least because modern attitudes toward economic systems, race relations, and gender roles emerged during this period.  We will read classic and contemporary texts to unearth the physical histories of contemporary ideas, including coverage of the archaeologies of capitalism, colonialism, gender relations, the African diaspora, ethnogenesis, and conflicts over the use of the past in the present.

COLONIAL INTERSECTIONS: JEWS AND NATIVE AMERICANS

Professor Chad Uran & Professor Jonathan Boyarin | Mo 2:30-4:25PM | ANTHR 4745

The colonial expansion of Christian Europe continues to leave its mark on the world of the twenty-first century. Two of the peoples caught up in that colonial project, in very different ways, are Jews and Native Americans. Indeed, these two groups were often conflated in the colonial imagination, with Native Americans imagined as the “lost tribes,” and missionary rhetoric first aimed at Jews (and Muslims) being adapted for Native Americans. This course looks at the differing structural positions of Jews (the “other within” Christian Europe) and Native Americans (the “other without”). It also considers these peoples’ varying responses to colonialism, and their relations with each other, to ask how we can compare forms of difference while retaining the richness of their distinctive formations.

INDIGENOUS SPACES AND MATERIALITY 

Professor Jolene Rickard | We 10:10AM - 12:05PM | ARTH 4774/6774, ANTHR 4774, ART 3874

Materials will be considered as willful agents within artistic processes across key moments in history by tracing the flow of wampum from the east coast, recognizing the shift from shell to glass during the fur trade up to the emergence of digital experimentation. The introduction of multiple modernities structures the shift from art historical framings of form over matter and connoisseurship to viewing materiality as an active process that continues to map larger social processes and transformation. Archives will be sites of investigation across varied Indigenous geographies marking place, space, bodies and land.

INDIGENOUS LITERARY CRITICISM AND THEORY 

Professor Carol Warrior | We 12:20 - 2:15PM | ENGL 6615/

How do Indigenous authors use form and content to resist the effects of colonization? How do aesthetic and intellectual heritages inform Indigenous literary and artistic works? What political and ethical considerations challenge scholars of Indigenous literatures? To answer these questions, this seminar will focus on a range of readings that critique colonialist representations of Indigenous peoples, and texts that illuminate Indigenous intellectual and philosophical traditions, as well as the growing field of Indigenous literary theory with its positions on sovereignty, nationhood, self-determination, decolonization, Indigenous feminisms, ecocriticism, and trans-Indigenism. Since such theories are often embedded in Indigenous creative works, the reading list will also include poetry, short fiction and film. Assignments will facilitate in-class discussion, and writing towards a conference paper or scholarly journal article.

WHAT'S COLONIAL ABOUT EARLY AMERICA?

Professor Jon Parmenter | MWF: 11:15-12:05 + discussion | HIST 2664

Many Americans envision the colonial period as a relatively quaint and benign time dominated by Pocahontas, the Pilgrims, and provinciality.  Pairing the term "colonial" with "America" also tends to render the nearly-three centuries between Europeans' arrival in the western hemisphere and the Declaration of Independence as the prehistory of the United States when in fact multiple colonial regimes existed in North America at any time prior to 1776.  This course investigates the rich, complex, and violent history of early America with the objective of a fresh appreciation of its "colonial" aspects – natural resource extraction, territorial expropriation and displacement of indigenous peoples, exploitation of enslaved labor, and the imposition of juridical authority over "settled" spaces – with an eye toward a better understanding of the larger patterns of domination (however incomplete) in which the emergent international state system and global capitalism creating imbalances of wealth and power that persist to this day.  In addition to exploration of familiar sites like the thirteen Anglo-American colonies, the course will venture into less well-known areas (including those outside contemporary national American boundaries) to enhance students' appreciation of the diversity of human in experience in early America via comparative analysis.

PAPERS OF EMPIRE: WRITING AND THE COLONIZATION OF AMERICA FROM COLUMBUS TO LEWIS AND CLARK

Professor Jon Parmenter | MWF 9:05-9:55AM | HIST/FWS 1460

 

Spring 2018 Course Roster

AIIS 1110 – INDIGENOUS ISSUES IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Professor Troy Richardson| MoWed 11:15-12:05PM Discussion Sections          (Tu 12:20-1:10PM) (We1:25-2:15PM) (Th 11:15-12:05PM)| AMST 1601

This course attends to the contemporary issues, contexts and experiences of Indigenous peoples. Students will develop a substantive understanding of colonialism and engage in the parallels and differences of its histories, forms, and effects on Indigenous peoples globally.  Contemporary Indigenous theorists, novelists, visual artists and historians have a prominent place in the course, highlighting social/environmental philosophies, critical responses to and forms of resistance toward neocolonial political and economic agendas and the fundamental concern for Indigenous self determination, among other topics.

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

AIIS 2660 – EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT INDIANS IS WRONG: UNLEARNING NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY

Professor Jon Parmenter |MoWeFr 9:05-9:55AM | HIST 2660, AMST2660

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. (HPE)

Distribution Category (HB, HA-AS)

AIIS 3248 – FINGER LAKES AND BEYOND: ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE NATIVE NORTHEAST

Professor Kurt Jordan | TuTh 8:40 - 9:55AM | AMST 3248, ANTHR 3248, ARKEO 3248

Co-meets with AIIS 6248 /AMST 6248 /ARKEO 6248 /ANTHR 6248 

For description, see ANTHR 3248. This course provides a long-term overview of the indigenous peoples of Cornell’s home region and their neighbors from an archaeological perspective.  Cornell students live and work in the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Iroquois, and this class will help residents to understand the deep history of this place. We will examine long-term changes in material culture, settlement, subsistence, and trade; the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; indigenous responses to European and American colonization; the practicalities of doing indigenous-site archaeology in New York State; and contemporary indigenous perspectives on archaeology. Visits to local archaeological sites and museum collections will supplement classroom instruction.

AIIS 3330 – WAYS OF KNOWING: INDIGENOUS AND PLACE-BASED ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

Dr. Karim-Aly Kassam | TuTh 8:40-9:55AM | AMST 3330, NTRES 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) (CU-CEL, CU-ITL, CU-SBY)

AIIS 2350 – ARCHAEOLOGY OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS

Professor Kurt Jordan | TuTh 2:55 - 4:10PM | AIIS/AMST 2350, ANTHR/ARKEO 2235

This introductory course surveys archaeology's contributions to the study of American Indian cultural diversity and change in North America north of Mexico. Lectures and readings will examine topics ranging from the debate over when the continent was first inhabited to present-day conflicts between Native Americans and archaeologists over excavation and the interpretation of the past. We will review important archaeological sites such as Chaco Canyon, Cahokia, Lamoka Lake, and the Little Bighorn battlefield. A principal focus will be on major transformations in lifeways such as the adoption of agriculture, the development of political-economic hierarchies, and the disruptions that accompanied the arrival of Europeans to the continent.

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

AIIS 3422 – CULTURE, POLITICS, AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE CIRCUMPOLAR NORTH

Professor Paul Nadasdy | TuTh 10:10-11:25AM | ANTRH 3422

Co-meets with AIIS 6422 /ANTHR 6422 .

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.

Distribution Category (CA-AG, D-AG)

AIIS 4000 – CRITICAL APPROACHES TO AMERICAN INDIAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES: INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

AIIS Staff | Wed 1:25-4:25pm

Enrollment limited to: advanced undergraduates. Co-meets with AIIS 6000 . Course requirements differ at 4000 and 6000 levels.

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.

AIIS 4200 –LOCKE AND THE PHILOSOPHIES OF DISPOSSESION: INDIGENOUS AMERICA'S INTERRUPTIONS AND RESISTANCES

Professor Troy Richardson | Mon 1:25-4:25PM | AMST 4220, PHIL 4941

Recommended prerequisite: AIIS 1110  and AIIS 4000 /AIIS 6000 . Co-meets with AIIS 6200 /AMST 6220 /PHIL 6941 .

This course looks at the philosopher John Locke as a philosopher of dispossession. There is a uniquely Lockean mode of missionization, conception of mind and re-formulations of the ‘soul’ applied to dispossess Indigenous peoples of the social institutions, intellectual traditions and the material bases and practices which sustain(ed) them. While colonization is typically used as a kind of shorthand for this process, we will be attempting to stay focused on the specific dimensions of Lockean dispossession and its mutually informing relationship with English colonialism.

AIIS 4670 – NATIVE AMERICAN POETRY OF RESISTANCE

Professor Carol Warrior | AMST 4670, ENGL 4670

What techniques, tools, and contexts are needed to perform reasonably well-informed readings and interpretations of Native American poetry? If a poem illuminates an injustice, what historical context do we need to know? When a poet depicts a humorous image or celebrates the body of a lover, does the poem – by virtue of its authorship – disturb stereotypes? These questions and more will direct our inquiry into how Indigenous poets represent and strategically re-invent Euro-American literary forms to revitalize Indigenous aesthetic traditions and register resistance to oppression. We’ll read numerous Indigenous poetic voices from across the continent, and see how they range from caustic criticism of EuroAmerican values, celebrate Indigenous relationships to place, and reject the role of victim or subjugation through trickster play and humor.

AIIS 4900 –NEW WORLD ENCOUNTERS, 1500-1800

Professor Jon Parmenter | Mon 12:20-2:15pm| HIST 4900, AMST 4900

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

Distribution Category (HA-AS)

AIIS 4970  INDEPENDENT STUDY

Instructor: Staff | Time: TBD

The American Indian Program office must approve independent study forms. Students from all colleges must submit a CALS Special Studies form available online. Topic and credit hours TBA between faculty member and student.

Distribution Category (CU-UGR)

AIIS 6970  INDEPENDENT STUDY

Instructor: Staff | Time: 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 and Indigenous Studies.

Distribution Category (CU-UGR)

ARTH 3902 – CURATORIAL INTERVENTIONS

Professor Jolene Rickard |

Permission of instructor required. Co-meets with ARTH 6902

The intersectionality between the political landscapes of nation spaces, economic and political forces will be undertaken through curatorial practices for museums and the art market including international biennials. What is the value in considering internal nation-state and Indigenous relationships on the international scene through artistic expression? Can this kind of international art world attention divulge anything missed in more direct political engagement? Reconsider curating practice as an intervention in the role museums and art world spaces play in the process of decolonization and the flow of cultural knowledge. Structured as a tutorial, this is a reading and discussion intensive course with limited enrollment.

Distribution Category (GB) (CA-AS)