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Graduate AIIS Minor Requirements

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) offers a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) to all graduate students in any college at Cornell. The minor is earned upon the completion of the following:

  • Two required graduate level courses, AIIS 6010 and AIIS 6000 (listed below).
  • Selection of an AIIS Field Faculty to serve on the applicant’s graduate committee (listed below).
  • An Elective, Independent Study (AIIS 6970) is available and may count towards the minor.

AIIS 6010- American Indian and Indigenous Studies Speaker Series- this colloquium brings together Cornell and non-Cornell scholars and leaders across disciplines who engage issues and topics critical to the field of Indigeneity within their own disciplinary categories, such as law, literature, art, architecture, gender, as well as natural and social sciences. The speakers include faculty, graduate students, Indigenous scholars, and community leaders to present their work for review and critique in a public forum. The Series follows the format of a bi-weekly seminar and welcomes larger public to attend and partake in the conversation. The Colloquium is offered as a graduate-level course (AIS 6010) that may be taken for 1 credit and is required towards AIS Graduate Field Minor.

AIIS 6000- Critical Approaches to American Indian and Indigenous Studies: Intellectual History- this course is 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.

The course seeks to meet the specific objectives: 1.) Situate contemporary theoretical, philosophical, methodological positions of Indigenous Scholarship within both the 20th century development of Indigenous Studies and Western Intellectual Histories and Practices (Sociology, Anthropology, Literature, Law, etc.); 2.)  Critically evaluate the geo-political dimensions of Indigenous (academic) knowledge production, specifically in relation to Indigenous Studies in the North American context with implications and lessons from south America, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and elsewhere; 3.) Interpret primary lineages of Indigenous Studies according to the question/frameworks of/for decolonization and coloniality; 4.) Critical evaluation/reflections on scholar positionality within Indigenous Studies/academia.

Learn more about our faculty by reading their full profiles here.

* Please Note: It is suggested that students who are interested in the minor, notify us no later than the beginning of their second semester. If you have any questions please contact us. Exemptions or partial exemptions to these requirements require a petition to the AIISP Curriculum Committee. They will be decided on an individual basis. We encourage our students to contact Dr.Troy Richardson for academic advisement. Download our application and get started today!