Back to top

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 American Indian and Indigenous Studies Speaker Series (offered in the Fall); & 
    AIIS 6000 Critical Approaches to American Indian and Indigenous Studies: Intellectual History (offered in the Spring).
  • 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.

A request for exemption to the requirement to take AIIS 6000 and/or 6010 due to scheduling challenges or related problems requires a petition to the AIIS Curriculum Committee; petitions will be approved only if students have taken other graduate-level AIIS Courses that the committee deems to be roughly equivalent to the requirement. The requirement to have a Graduate Field member representing AIIS on the Thesis or Dissertation committee cannot be waived (re-affirmed by the AIIS Graduate Field Nov. 2020).

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 indigeneity, 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.

list of faculty that are member of AIIS filed could be access under people
Learn more about our faculty by reading their full profiles
Learn more about AIIS Graduate Minor.  

* 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 and AIISP office for a copy of an application.