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Content Section 1

Past Courses


Spring 2013

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies. Teves, Reed

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria in Spring 2013 for a
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect course, and UIUC: US Minority Culture(s) course

AIS 165: Language & Culture of Native N. Amer Indians. Farnell

Develops understanding of the rich diversity of languages and cultures found among Native North American peoples from the perspectives of sociocultural and linguistic anthropology.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria in Spring 2013 for a
UIUC: Non-Western Cultures course

AIS 265: Intro to American Indian Literature. Howe

Introduces students to the study of American Indian literature by focusing on texts by contemporary American Indian novelists, poets, and playwrights. Over the course of the semester, students will consider how indigenous aesthetics shape narrative in addition to examining how American Indian authors engage the legacies of colonization and the histories of their tribal communities through their stories.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria in Spring 2013 for a
UIUC: Literature and the Arts course, and UIUC: US Minority Culture(s) course

AIS 278: US Native Americans since 1850. Gilbert

Overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment Native Americans inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. Course will also examine the ways in which native peoples survived amidst the economic, political, and social forces that were unleashed by the country's evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction, and secondary works.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria in Spring 2013 for a
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect course, and UIUC: US Minority Culture(s) course

AIS 291: Independent Study

Supervised reading and research in American Indian Studies chosen by the student with instructor approval.

AIS 295: US Citizenship Comparatively. Cacho

Examines the racial, gendered, and sexualized aspects of US citizenship historically and comparatively. Interdisciplinary course taught from a humanities perspective. Readings draw from critical legal studies, history, literature, literary criticism, and ethnography.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria in Spring 2013 for a
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect course , and UIUC: US Minority Culture(s) course

AIS 481: History of American Indian Education. Gilbert

Students will study various efforts to "civilize" American Indians through US government initiatives and religious churches, as well as educational models developed by tribal entities following passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975.

AIS 490/590: Indigenous Performance & Creative Process. Harjo

This course will focus on two performance events: a Hawaiian hula which investigates context, structure, and the merging of poetry, dance, and music; and, a Mvskoke stomp dance, with lyrics and stories included in and around the performance. The course is based on the premise that
Indigenous performance and creative processes of poetry, music, and dance
are a natural fusion.

Possible text/media include: "Holo Mai Pele" (Pele Travels), "Ka Honua Ola - 'Eli'eli Kau Mai: The Living Earth - Descend, Deepen the Revelation," "Stomp Dance Blues − A Tribute to Johnna," singers John A. Gibson, James Squirrel, John Ballard and Ben Barnes, and the music of Jim Pepper.

We encourage students in performing and visual arts and creative writing to consider this course that focuses on performance and craft as practiced in the Indigenous world. Course is open by permission (contact John McKinn).

AIS 491: Readings in American Indian Studies

Individual guidance in intensive readings in the theories and practices of the field of American Indian Studies.

AIS 501: Indigenous Critical Theory. Byrd

Explores the distinctive form of inquiry which critiques settler-colonial ideas and institutions at the interdisciplinary crossroads where American Indian and Indigenous Studies engages other theories including but not limited to feminist theory, critical race theory, semiotics and phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and the postcolonial theory (to name only some of the many possibilities).

Fall 2012

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies. DeLisle, Gilbert, Diaz, Reed, Zundo

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect course, and UIUC: US Minority Culture(s) course

AIS 140: Native Religious Traditions. Gilbert

An interdisciplinary survey of native religious traditions, exploring the breadth and depth of spiritual expression among native people in North America. Assigned readings and class discussions cover a variety of important themes including sacred landscapes, mythic narratives, oral histories, communal identities, tribal values, elder teachings, visionary experiences, ceremonial practices, prayer traditions, and trickster wisdom. Students also consider historic encounters with missionary colonialism and contemporary strategies for religious self-determination. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speakers.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a UIUC: US Minority Culture(s) course, and UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect course

AIS 199: Expressive Culture. Howe

Topic: Intro to American Indian Studies: American Indian Expressive Culture. This course focuses on various forms of cultural expression among American Indians and other indigenous peoples, including film, dance, theatre, visual art, and writing. Issues of performance and artistic practice will be of special concern, and the relationship between new and older forms of Indigenous expression will be highlighted.

Restricted to Chancellor's Scholar-CHPHonors students

Spring 2012

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies. Gilbert, Diaz, Clark, Reed

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 102: Contemporary Issues in Indian Country. Clark

Surveys a variety of topics in contemporary American Indian life. Focusing on the modern experience, topics may include law and politics; lands and environment; education; visual arts; languages and literatures; health; social justice; business; treaties; the sacred; gender; sports; decolonization; comparative tribal, Indian and global indigenous concerns.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Social Sciences, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 275: American Indian and Indigenous Film. Warrior

Introduction to representations of American Indians and Indigenous peoples in film. Reconstructions of American Indians within the Western genre and more recent reconstructions by Native filmmakers will be considered. Other topics may include the development of an indigenous aesthetic; the role of documentaries and nonfiction films in the history of Native and Indigenous film; the role of commerce in the production of Native films.

AIS 275: Sex on the Beach. Diaz

This is a special topic section of "American Indian and Indigenous Film." Introduction to representations of American Indians and Indigenous peoples in film. Reconstructions of American Indians within the Western genre and more recent reconstructions by Native filmmakers will be considered. Other topics may include the development of an indigenous aesthetic; the role of documentaries and nonfiction films in the history of Native and Indigenous film; the role of commerce in the production of Native films.

AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers. DeLisle (second 8-week course)

An introduction to the English-language traditions of indigenous intellectuals. Specific topics vary.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a UIUC: Non-Western Cultures course, and UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect course

AIS 295: US Citizenship Comparatively.

Examines the racial, gendered, and sexualized aspects of US citizenship historically and comparatively. Interdisciplinary course taught from a humanities perspective. Readings draw from critical legal studies, history, literature, literary criticism, and ethnography.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 430: Indigenous Governance. Byrd

Indigenous peoples have long and rich traditions of governance and political philosophies that have shaped institutions and informed diplomacies amongst each other and with European nations. This course examines the indigenous governance historically and within contemporary contexts with emphasis on the importance of sovereignty within institutions, education, language revitalization, and cultural resurgence.

Fall 2011

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies. Byrd, Howe, Clark, Reed

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

AIS 140: Native Religious Traditions. Gilbert

An interdisciplinary survey of native religious traditions, exploring the breadth and depth of spiritual expression among native people in North America. Assigned readings and class discussions cover a variety of important themes including sacred landscapes, mythic narratives, oral histories, communal identities, tribal values, elder teachings, visionary experiences, ceremonial practices, prayer traditions, and trickster wisdom. Students also consider historic encounters with missionary colonialism and contemporary strategies for religious self-determination. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speakers. Same as RSLT 140.

AIS 278: US Native Americans Since 1850. Gilbert

Surveys a variety of topics in contemporary American Indian life. Focusing on the modern experience, topics may include law and politics; lands and environment; education; visual arts; languages and literatures; health; social justice; business; treaties; the sacred; gender; sports; decolonization; comparative tribal, Indian and global indigenous concerns.

AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers. Clark

An introduction to the English-language traditions of indigenous intellectuals. Specific topics vary. May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 6 hours. May be repeated in subsequent terms to a maximum of 9 hours.

AIS 459: Topics in American Indian Literature. Warrior

TOPIC: Native American and Indigenous Non-Fiction Writing
Nonfiction writing has been central to Native American and other Indigenous literary and intellectual histories for over two centuries. This course focuses on the trajectories of those histories of writing, including consideration of authors from the 18th to the 21st centuries. The course will include a broad range of nonfiction writing, from life writing to journalism to memoir to film. We will also examine recent scholarly work about the history of Native American books and the adoption of the technology of writing by Indigenous people. Authors will include Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, Gertrude Bonnin, William Apess, Samson Occam, Gerald Vizenor, Alanis Obomsawim, and Lee Maracle. Rhetoric and Writing Studies students are welcome.

AIS 501: Indigenous Critical Theory. Byrd

Within postcolonial theory, scholars often draw distinctions between British formal colonial rule and settler colonialism, establishing the first as the normative process of economic and military domination and the second as a more humane and inevitable process. As a result, the pernicious colonizations of indigenous peoples within deep settler colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States often remain the dark unarticulated given even in theories of decolonial resistance arising from the global south. This class proposes a dialogue of sorts amongst theoretical traditions to interrogate settler colonial "postcolonialities" and the lingering colonialist discourses within postcolonial theory that deconstruct when confronted by indigenous presences. How do theories of colonialism and postcolonialism prioritize certain geographical and historical contexts and in what ways do those theories succeed or fail in addressing indigeneity? How might indigeneity challenge postcolonial theory and how might indigenous scholars reframe those theories to address the ongoing colonizations that continue to define their lands, rights, and sovereignty? Finally, how might the intersection between postcolonial and indigenous critical theories provide new sites for interdisciplinary methods and inquiry? MEETS with ENGL 581

AIS 591: American Indian Studies Grad Seminar. Kral

This is a two-semester practicum, where students will conduct an ethnography in a local community setting using a participatory/collaborative methodology. In this course we will cover both participatory/collaborative methods and ethnographic fieldwork. Students will select a community setting or engage in fieldwork in a setting they are already in. and ideally tie this course into their thesis/dissertation work. The approach of this course is interdisciplinary, or metadisciplinary, but is more centered in cultural-community psychology, anthropology, and Indigenous studies. We will examine the theory, method and practice of community-based research and ethnography, with a particular focus on the newer methods being called participatory action research (PAR), community-based participatory research (CBPR), and collaborative ethnography in the context of decolonizing methodologies. MEETS with PSYC 546 section MK.

Spring 2011

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Byrd; Gilbert; Reese; Clark

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians." This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 102: Contemporary Issues in Indian Country, Stanciu

Surveys a variety of topics in contemporary American Indian life. Focusing on the modern experience, topics may include law and politics; lands and environment; education; visual arts; languages and literatures; health; social justice; business; treaties; the sacred; gender; sports; decolonization; comparative tribal, Indian and global indigenous concerns. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Social Sciences, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers, Clark

An introduction to the English-language traditions of indigenous intellectuals. Specific topics vary. May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 6 hours. May be repeated in subsequent terms to a maximum of 9 hours. First year Discovery Program. Registration restricted to Freshmen. Students should enroll in only one Discovery course. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and Non-Western Cultures course.

AIS 288: American Indians of Illinois, Farnell & Hoxie

An interdisciplinary survey of the Native American experience in the Illinois region from pre-Columbian times to the present. Introduces theories, concepts and methods in archaeology, history, and sociocultural anthropology. Includes archaeological field site and museum visits, plus guest lectures by American Indian scholars and community members. Same as ANTH 288 and HIST 288. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for aHist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 451: Politics of Children's Lit, Reese

Interdisciplinary seminar on special and advanced topics in American Indian and Indigenous Literatures. Same as ENGL 459. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One year of college literature or consent of instructor.

AIS 459: Topics in American Indian Literature, Byrd

Interdisciplinary seminar on special and advanced topics in American Indian and Indigenous Literatures. Same as ENGL 459. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One year of college literature or consent of instructor.

Fall 2010

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Clark; Reese

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians." This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 165: Language and Culture Native North America, Farnell

Develops understanding of the rich diversity of languages and cultures found among Native North American peoples from the perspectives of sociocultural and linguistic anthropology. Same as ANTH 165. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Non-Western Cultures course.

AIS 199: Indigenous Governance, Byrd

Indigenous peoples have long and rich traditions of governance and political philosophies that have shaped institutions and informed diplomacies amongst each other and with European nations. This course examines the indigenous governance historically and within contemporary contexts with emphasis on the importance of sovereignty within institutions, education, language revitalization, and cultural resurgence.

AIS 199: American Indian Removal, Byrd

An in-depth look at the era when state and federal authorities in the United States forcibly removed Native Americans from the settled areas of the nation. The principal focus of this short course will be the Cherokee Nation of Georgia and its struggle to avoid removal. The course will involve "playing" an elaborate and complex historical re-enactment game, "Red Clay." Students interested in the course should have a background in Native American history or American Indian Studies.

AIS 265: Intro to American Indian Lit, Byrd

Introduces students to the study of American Indian literature by focusing on texts by contemporary American Indian novelists, poets, and playwrights. Over the course of the semester, students will consider how indigenous aesthetics shape narrative in addition to examining how American Indian authors engage the legacies of colonization and the histories of their tribal communities through their stories. Same as ENGL 265.

AIS 277: US Native Americans to 1850, Hoxie

Survey of the Native American experience in North America from the arrival of Europeans to 1850. Explores the impact of European expansion on Native American communities, the ways in which Native American people adapted to the growing European presence, and the continuities and innovations that distinguished the indigenous world in this era. Focuses primarily on those parts of North America that became part of the United States. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers, Clark

An introduction to the English-language traditions of indigenous intellectuals. Specific topics vary. May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 6 hours. May be repeated in subsequent terms to a maximum of 9 hours. First year Discovery Program. Registration restricted to Freshmen. Students should enroll in only one Discovery course. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and Non-Western Cultures course.

AIS 295: US Citizenship Comparatively, Cacho

Examines the racial, gendered, and sexualized aspects of US citizenship historically and comparatively. Interdisciplinary course taught from a humanities perspective. Readings draw from critical legal studies, history, literature, literary criticism, and ethnography. Same as AFRO 215, AIS 295, GWS 215, and LLS 215. Prerequisite: Any of the following: AAS 100, AAS 120, LLS 100, AIS 101, AFRO 100, GWS 250, or GWS 260. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 451: Politics of Children's Lit, Reese

Interdisciplinary seminar on special and advanced topics in American Indian and Indigenous Literatures. Same as ENGL 459. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One year of college literature or consent of instructor.

AIS 503: Seminar in Indigenous Studies, Warrior

Topic: Sovereignty, Autonomy, and Indigenous Literatures in the Americas. The course will focus on reading literary texts and other examples of contemporary expressive culture. Authors will include Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Rigoberta Menchu, Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez, Victor Montejo, Simon Ortiz, Joy Harjo, John Joseph Mathews, Gerald Vizenor, and Gertrude Bonnin. Films by Chris Eyre, Zacharias Kunuk, Alanis Obamsawin, and Arlene Bowman will also be included.

Spring 2010

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Gilbert; Low; Reese

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 102: Contemp Issues in Indian Country, Low

This introductory course uses mass media communications and an interdisciplinary frame to make sense of events and controversies emerging out of Indian Country today that are rooted in histories which have unfolded at crossroads where the United States associates with American Indian nations and peoples. The course fulfills the Social Sciences (SS) subcategory of the Social and Behavioral Sciences principle course distribution requirement and the U.S. Minority Culture(s) subcategory of the Cultural Studies requirement for General Education credit on a campus-wide basis.

AIS 165: Language and Culture Native North America, Farnell

Develops understanding of the rich diversity of languages and cultures found among Native North American peoples from the perspectives of sociocultural and linguistic anthropology. Same as ANTH 165.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Non-Western Cultures course.

AIS 199: American Indians in Film, Take 2, Howe

The emphasis will be to study the images of American Indians in classic Hollywood films. Students will be required to screen a list of classic films on their own, and then write, produce, film, and direct a short film about American Indians without using stereotypes. We will work in teams. The goal of this course is to understand how stereotypes function in film, and how to work against stereotypes. Prerequisites: AIS 275 or consent of instructor.

AIS 277: US Native Americans to 1850, Hoxie

Survey of the Native American experience in North America from the arrival of Europeans to 1850. Explores the impact of European expansion on Native American communities, the ways in which Native American people adapted to the growing European presence, and the continuities and innovations that distinguished the indigenous world in this era. Focuses primarily on those parts of North America that became part of the United States.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers, Clark

An introduction to the English-language traditions of indigenous intellectuals. Specific topics vary. May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 6 hours. May be repeated in subsequent terms to a maximum of 9 hours.

First year Discovery Program. Registration restricted to Freshmen. Students should enroll in only one Discovery course.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and Non-Western Cultures course.

AIS 291: Independent Study

Supervised reading and research in American Indian Studies chosen by the student with instructor approval. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: One course in American Indian Studies and consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

AIS 295: US Citizenship Comparatively, Cacho

Examines the racial, gendered, and sexualized aspects of US citizenship historically and comparatively. Interdisciplinary course taught from a humanities perspective. Readings draw from critical legal studies, history, literature, literary criticism, and ethnography. Same as AFRO 215, AIS 295, GWS 215, and LLS 215. Prerequisite: Any of the following: AAS 100, AAS 120, LLS 100, AIS 101, AFRO 100, GWS 250, or GWS 260.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 459: Topics in American Indian Lit, Byrd

Interdisciplinary seminar on special and advanced topics in American Indian and Indigenous Literatures. Same as ENGL 459. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One year of college literature or consent of instructor.

AIS 490: History of American Indian Law, Hoxie

Introduction to the history of the American Indian struggle for justice within the legal systems of the United States. Traces events and major courtroom disputes from the era of the American Revolution to the present. Prerequisite: One year of College history or consent of instructor. Meets with HIST 485 Sec A and LAW 798

AIS 490: American Indians and Sports, Gilbert

This course examines the history of American Indians and sports from pre-contact to the present era. Course topics will cover indigenous games, and the way Native athletes participated in sports such as baseball, basketball, football, and long distance running. The course readings will focus on Native athletes who competed within the context of an American sport culture. Other readings will critically engage and evaluate the use of Native imagery and stereotypes as team mascots. By consulting primary and secondary sources, and films, this course seeks to broaden the student's understanding of key figures in Indian sport history, and to provide the student with an historical and cultural context that draws on indigenous and western philosophies and practices of sports.

AIS 491: Readings in American Indian Studies

Individual guidance in intensive readings in the theories and practices of the field of American Indian Studies. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or one course in AIS and consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

AIS 503: Seminar in Indigenous Studies, Clark

Research and writing seminar that offers special topics based on current research questions and concerns in American Indian and indigenous Studies and opportunities for graduate students who have made considerable progress in defining a research project to advance the research and writing to the next stage (e.g., to include as a thesis or dissertation chapter or for publication). Topics vary. May be repeated as topic varies in subsequent semesters to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: AIS 501 and AIS 502, or consent of the instructor.

AIS 591: Problems in Indigenous Studies

Offers flexible, rigorous, and wide-ranging opportunities for interdisciplinary graduate-level work in Indigenous (including American Indians) Studies; thus, depending on student needs and instructor interests, the course may be negotiated as a directed reading, directed research, supervised fieldwork, supervised teaching, project, or thesis supervision. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

Fall 2009

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Reese, Clark, Low

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 199: Red and Black: Studies in American Indians and African Americans, Howe

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach and uses literature, history, legal documents, and essays by American Indians and African Americans to investigate the politics of race, gender, and genocide. Students will explore ways in which the two cultures - American Indians and African Americans - shared a colonized history in American and examine the different strategies these groups use to survive and reestablish their cultures. Major themes to be investigated are "Borders and Captivity," "Identity Chosen versus Identity Imposed," "Ethnic Cleansing versus Slavery," and "Freedom and Sovereignty."

Restricted to Chancellors Scholar − CHP Honors students.

AIS 199: Comparative History of Indian Education and Assimilation, Gilbert

This course will examine the attempts by colonial powers (governments, Christian institutions, etc.) to "educate" and assimilate indigenous people of North America, New Zealand, and Australia (1800-1960). In addition to critically evaluating government assimilation and acculturation policies, this course will seek to understand how indigenous people responded to an education based primarily on colonial ideals and values. Furthermore, by utilizing primary and secondary sources, including short stories and films, this course will consider the varied impact colonization has had on indigenous communities of North America and the Pacific. First year Discovery Program. registration restricted to Freshmen. Students should enroll in only one Discovery course.

AIS 275: American Indians and Film, Warrior

Introduction to representations of American Indians in film. Emphasis on constructions of American Indians within the Western genre and more recent reconstructions by Native filmmakers. Students will be required to attend film screenings. Same as CINE 275 and ENGL 275. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of the Composition I English requirement.

AIS 278: US Native Americans Since 1850, Gilbert

Overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment Native Americans inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. Course will also examine the ways in which native peoples survived amidst the economic, political, and social forces that were unleashed by the country's evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction, and secondary works. Same as HIST 278.

Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 291: Independent Study

Supervised reading and research in American Indian Studies chosen by the student with instructor approval. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: One course in American Indian Studies and consent of instructor.

AIS 451: Politics of Children’s Lit, Reese

Students will revisit classic and popular children's books, applying critical theoretical perspectives to texts with the purpose of examining ideologies behind their creation, publication, review, distribution, and consumption. An emphasis will be placed on texts by and about American Indians. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of the Advanced Composition requirement; junior standing or above; or consent of instructor.

AIS 461: Politics of Popular Culture, Clark

Concerned with interdisciplinary frameworks that allow us to 'read' popular culture as well as with its actual forms and specific artifacts, this course seeks, first, to grasp how popular culture has legitimized the colonization of American Indian peoples and second, to reflect on the ways in which Indians engage popular culture to assert an anti-oppression politics. Same as MS 461. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

AIS 491: Readings in American Indian Studies

Individual guidance in intensive readings in the theories and practices of the field of American Indian Studies. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or one course in AIS and consent of instructor.

AIS 501: Indigenous Critical Theory, Byrd

Explores the distinctive form of inquiry which critiques settler-colonial ideas and institutions at the interdisciplinary crossroads where American Indian and Indigenous Studies engages other theories including but not limited to feminist theory, critical race theory, semiotics and phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and the postcolonial theory (to name only some of the many possibilities). Graduate standing or consent of the instructor.

AIS 590: Collaborative Community Ethnography, Kral

Meets with PSYC 546 Sec MK. Instructor Approval Required. Collaborative Community Ethnography. This is a two-semester practicum where students will conduct an ethnography in a local community setting using a participatory/collaborative methodology. It can optionally be taken as a seminar. In this course we will cover both participatory/collaborative methods and ethnographic fieldwork. Students will select a community setting or engage in fieldwork in a setting they are already in. The approach of this course is interdisciplinary, or metadisciplinary, but is more centered in cultural-community psychology, anthropology, and Indigenous studies. We will examine the theory, method and practice of community-based research and ethnography, with a particular focus on the newer methods being called participatory action research (PAR), community-based participatory research (CBPR), and collaborative ethnography in the context of decolonizing methodologies.

AIS 591: Problems in Indigenous Studies

Offers flexible, rigorous, and wide-ranging opportunities for interdisciplinary graduate-level work in Indigenous (including American Indians) Studies; thus, depending on student needs and instructor interests, the course may be negotiated as a directed reading, directed research, supervised fieldwork, supervised teaching, project, or thesis supervision. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Spring 2009

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Byrd

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians."

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 199: Topic: Race and Indigeneity: Asian, Pacific Islander, America, Isaki

This course examines the politics of race and indigeneity in the context of Asian and Pacific Islander histories and experiences with settler colonialism. Students will become familiar with different theoretical approaches to U.S. geopolitics, race, racism, indigeneity, settler colonialism, decolonization, and social movements in the Pacific. Meets with AAS 299

AIS 265: Intro to American Indian Literature, Warrior

Introduces students to the study of American Indian literature by focusing on texts by contemporary American Indian novelists, poets, and playwrights. Over the course of the semester, students will consider how indigenous aesthetics shape narrative in addition to examining how American Indian authors engage the legacies of colonization and the histories of their tribal communities through their stories. Same as ENGL 265

AIS 275: American Indians and Film, Howe

Introduction to representations of American Indians in film. Emphasis on constructions of American Indians within the Western genre and more recent rec-constructions by Native filmmakers. Students will be required to attend film screenings. Same as CINE 275 and ENGL 275. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of the Composition I English requirement.

AIS 291: Independent Study

Supervised reading and research in American Indian Studies chosen by the student with instructor approval. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: One course in American Indian Studies and consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

AIS 481: History of American Indian Education, Gilbert

This course examines the history of American Indian education from pre-European contact to the present era. Readings will include primary documents, short poetry and fiction, and secondary works. Topics in the course will focus on the history of Indian education during the 19th and 20th century, including the Indian boarding school experience and the emergence of tribal colleges. At the completion of this course, students will be able to understand the major historical, cultural, and political developments of Indian education from Native and non-Native perspectives. Same as EPS 481. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

AIS 485: Indigenous Transnationalisms, Bauerkemper

In taking up the topic of indigeneity, one necessarily enters into a transnational terrain of peoples, histories, and ideas.

Immersed in--yet also moving beyond--postcolonial theory, the "transnational turn," and scholarly discussions of indigenous nationhood, this literature-based course centrally considers the sophisticated ways in which indigenous intellectuals imagine transnational spaces and theorize the complex cultural, political, economic, social, and discursive practices and processes unfolding in such spaces. Asking students to think comparatively across indigenous writings of North America and the Pacific, the course explores how indigenous traditions and knowledges regarding nationalisms, transnationalisms, and postnationalisms inform and arise out of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Through their engagements with indigenous writing, students will become conversant with theoretical discourses located at the intersections of transnational and indigenous studies, and they will develop a critical awareness of the pasts, presents, and futures of transnational patterns of colonization and resistance.

Meets with ENGL 461

AIS 490: Topic: American Indians and Sports (Adv Topics in AIS), Gilbert

This course examines the history of American Indians and sports from pre-contact to the present era. Course topics will cover indigenous games, and the way Native athletes participated in sports such as baseball, basketball, football, and long distance running. The course readings will focus on Native athletes who competed within the context of an American sport culture. Other readings will critically engage and evaluate the use of Native imagery and stereotypes as team mascots. By consulting primary and secondary sources, and films, this course seeks to broaden the student's understanding of key figures in Indian sport history, and to provide the student with an historical and cultural context that draws on indigenous and western philosophies and practices of sports.

AIS 490: Topic: History of American Indian Law (Adv Topics in AIS), Hoxie

Introduction to the history of the American Indian struggle for justice within the legal systems of the United States. Traces events and major courtroom disputes from the era of the American Revolution to the present. Prerequisite: One year of College history or consent of instructor.

Meets with HIST 485 and LAW 798N

AIS 491: Readings in American Indian Studies

Description: Individual guidance in intensive readings in the theories and practices of the field of American Indian Studies. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or one course in AIS and consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

AIS 590: Seminar: Collaborative Community Ethnography, Kral

Meets with PSYC 546 Sec MK. Instructor Approval Required. Collaborative Community Ethnography. This is a two-semester practicum where students will conduct an ethnography in a local community setting using a participatory/collaborative methodology. It can optionally be taken as a seminar. In this course we will cover both participatory/collaborative methods and ethnographic fieldwork. Students will select a community setting or engage in fieldwork in a setting they are already in. The approach of this course is interdisciplinary, or metadisciplinary, but is more centered in cultural-community psychology, anthropology, and Indigenous studies. We will examine the theory, method and practice of community-based research and ethnography, with a particular focus on the newer methods being called participatory action research (PAR), community-based participatory research (CBPR), and collaborative ethnography in the context of decolonizing methodologies.

AIS 590: Seminar: Indigenous Decolonial Methods, Warrior

Introduction for graduate students to key critical scholars and prevailing and emerging models in research methods that seek ethical knowledge production in American Indian and/or Indigenous Studies, including ethnography, archival research, interviews, and translation (to name only some of myriad options). Focus is on assisting students to initiate, develop, clarify, and justify the research methods they adopt and practice to reach their research goals. Prerequisite: AIS 501 or consent of the instructor.

AIS 591: Problems in Indigenous Studies

Offers flexible, rigorous, and wide-ranging opportunities for interdisciplinary graduate-level work in Indigenous (including American Indians) Studies; thus, depending on student needs and instructor interests, the course may be negotiated as a directed reading, directed research, supervised fieldwork, supervised teaching, project, or thesis supervision. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

Fall 2008

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Reese

Leaders in American Indian Studies observe that Native Americans remain among the least-understood groups, not only within the general public, but also among university scholars, administrators, and policymakers. This lack of understanding, in large part, is due to the fact that most of what has been written about Native peoples has been written by individuals who are not themselves Native American, or by individuals with little substantive or unbiased information about who Native people are. Layered on that is what people believe they know about Native Americans based upon representations of Native Americans in popular culture that offer narrow and biased depictions that suggest Native peoples no longer exist. In this course, you will have the opportunity to learn about Native American cultures in present and past contexts as you explore the history and vision(s) of American Indian Studies as it exists today. And, you will gain skills that help you view Native representations with a critical eye.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, McKinn

This class will introduce students to some of critical issues facing Native communities today. In particular, this class will focus on the historical and present-day dynamics of colonialism in Native communities. We will also look at patterns of resistance against colonialism, particularly as they become articulated as struggles for Native sovereignty. The course looks to provide a historical context for understanding the present-day dynamics of colonialism/sovereignty.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Howe

This course utilizes literature and history texts, legal documents, and films, both drama and comedy to examine American Indian tribes and indigenous communities throughout the United States. During the semester students will be reading and writing on novels and poems by American Indian authors as well as history and legal texts as a way of understanding and interrogating the politics of race, gender, and cultural genocide as it applies to American Indians. Major themes are land, borders and captivity, identity chosen versus identity imposed, ethnic cleansing 101, and reservations and tribal sovereignty. This course is writing and reading intensive, highly interactive -- meaning it is driven by student inquiry.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

View PDF versions of the course readings:

AIS 277: US Native Americans to 1850, Gilbert

Survey of the Native American experience in North America from the arrival of Europeans to 1850. Explores the impact of European expansion on Native American communities, the ways in which Native American people adapted to the growing European presence, and the continuities and innovations that distinguished the indigenous world in this era. Focuses primarily on those parts of North America that became part of the United States.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

Same as HIST 277. See HIST 277.

AIS 291: Independent Study

Supervised reading and research in American Indian Studies chosen by the student with instructor approval. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: One course in American Indian Studies and consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

AIS 451: Politics of Children’s Literature, Reese

Is Little House on the Prairie among your favorite children's books, or perhaps Indian in the Cupboard? What do you recall about the way that American Indians are presented in those or other favorite books from your childhood?

In this course, we will examine the ways that Native Americans are represented in children's literature as we engage the following questions: What do classic and popular children's books tell us about American Indians? Similarly, what can we say about racial or gendered representations in Babar, Little Black Sambo,The Five Chinese Brothers, or Daddy's Roommate?

Seeking answers to such questions requires that children's books be studied, not as isolated literary texts, but within the larger context of American society. Course readings will address the social and ideological functions of children's literature, literary and socio-political criticism of selected popular and classic children's books, and book reviews and essays about children’s books by scholars, teachers, librarians, parents, and children.

AIS 481: History of American Indian Education, Gilbert

Students will study various efforts to "civilize" American Indians through US government initiatives and religious churches, as well as educational models developed by tribal entities following passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. Same as EPS 481. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

AIS 491: Readings in American Indian Studies

Individual guidance in intensive readings in the theories and practices of the field of American Indian Studies. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or one course in AIS and consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

AIS 590: Am Indian Studies Grad Seminar, Kral

MEETS with PSYC 546 section MK - This is a two-semester practicum, where students will conduct an ethnography in a local community setting using a participatory/collaborative methodology. In this course we will cover both participatory/collaborative methods and ethnographic fieldwork. Students will select a community setting or engage in fieldwork in a setting they are already in. and ideally tie this course into their thesis/dissertation work. The approach of this course is interdisciplinary, or metadisciplinary, but is more centered in cultural-community psychology, anthropology, and Indigenous studies. We will examine the theory, method and practice of community-based research and ethnography, with a particular focus on the newer methods being called participatory action research (PAR), community-based participatory research (CBPR), and collaborative ethnography in the context of decolonizing methodologies.

AIS 591: Problems in Indigenous Studies

Offers flexible, rigorous, and wide-ranging opportunities for interdisciplinary graduate-level work in Indigenous (including American Indians) Studies; thus, depending on student needs and instructor interests, the course may be negotiated as a directed reading, directed research, supervised fieldwork, supervised teaching, project, or thesis supervision. May be repeated in the same or subsequent semesters to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Department Approval Required

Spring 2008

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Reese

Leaders in American Indian Studies observe that Native Americans remain among the least-understood groups, not only within the general public, but also among university scholars, administrators, and policymakers. This lack of understanding, in large part, is due to the fact that most of what has been written about Native peoples has been written by individuals who are not themselves Native American, or by individuals with little substantive or unbiased information about who Native people are. Layered on that is what people believe they know about Native Americans based upon representations of Native Americans in popular culture that offer narrow and biased depictions that suggest Native peoples no longer exist. In this course, you will have the opportunity to learn about Native American cultures in present and past contexts as you explore the history and vision(s) of American Indian Studies as it exists today. And, you will gain skills that help you view Native representations with a critical eye.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 102: Contemporary Issues in Indian Country, Clark

This introductory course uses mass media communications and an interdisciplinary frame to make sense of events and controversies emerging out of Indian Country today that are rooted in the histories of the United States and American Indian peoples. Required readings include Barreiro and Johnson, America Is Indian Country (2005); Pevar, The Rights of Indians and Tribes (2004); and Reid and Winton, Keeping Promises (2004). The course fulfills the Social Sciences (SS) subcategory of the Social and Behavioral Sciences principle course distribution requirement and the U.S. Minority Culture(s) subcategory of the Cultural Studies requirement for General Education credit on a campus-wide basis. You must enroll in one of the two Friday discussion sections in order to remain in the course. A required final exam is scheduled from 8-11am on Wednesday, December 12, 2007.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a UIUC Social Sciences, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 140: Native Religious Traditions, Treat

An interdisciplinary survey of native religious traditions, exploring the breadth and depth of spiritual expression among native people in North America. Assigned readings and class discussions cover a variety of important themes including sacred landscapes, mythic narratives, oral histories, communal identities, tribal values, elder teachings, visionary experiences, ceremonial practices, prayer traditions, and trickster wisdom. Students also consider historic encounters with missionary colonialism and contemporary strategies for religious self-determination. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speakers. Same as RLST 140.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

This section is for Chancellor's Scholars only; others may only enroll with the approval of the Campus Honors Program and the instructor.

AIS 278: US Native Americans since 1850, Gilbert

Overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment Native Americans inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. Course will also examine the ways in which native peoples survived amidst the economic, political, and social forces that were unleashed by the country's evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction, and secondary works.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 341: Native People and Christianity, Gilbert

This course examines American Indian encounters with Christianity from the late 1400s to the present. By incorporating primary and secondary sources, this course seeks to explore the ways in which Christianity was used both as a method of colonization, and religious transformation. Topics covered in the course will include Native rejection and acceptance of Christianity, religious and philosophical tensions between Native communities and Christian missionaries, and the many complexities that exist when people from diverse religious cultures intersect.

AIS 430: Indigenous Governance, Byrd

Indigenous peoples have long and rich traditions of governance and political philosophies that have shaped institutions and informed diplomacies amongst each other and with European nations. This course examines those histories, looking particularly at the resurgence of indigenous governance, sovereignty, and resistance in recent years. What is at stake for indigenous peoples and governments? What conditions and values are necessary for decolonial leadership and action? How do native nations resist discourses of dependency and move toward self-determination and self-sufficiency? What might indigenous control of colonialist economies such as gaming and tourism entail? What role does language revitalization play in the decolonization of indigenous nations? Students will examine these questions and trace them through histories of indigenous governance in North America, Hawai'i, and New Zealand/Aotearoa.

AIS 490: Advanced Topics in American Indian Studies, Howe

Topic: Indigenous North American Theater

An introductory studio course in Indigenous theatre, this course explores the potential of sound, movement, impulse, gesture and storytelling from the body's memory as methodologies for generating performance texts organically. The focus will be on participatory group exercises using ensemble theatre techniques and collective creation, and includes physical and vocal warm ups. Comfortable attire required. Reading assignments will include the works of contemporary Native playwrights from the U.S. and Canada in preparation for in-class readings and informal stagings from their plays.

AIS 490: Advanced Topics in American Indian Studies, Treat

Topic: Indigenous Ecologies

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the relationship between human experience and natural environment in native North America. Assigned readings survey historical and contemporary case studies in New World ethnoecology, including noteworthy examples of adaptation in the context of settler colonialism and in response to the dominant paradigm of scientific ecology. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials, guest speakers, and relevant campus events. Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of ecological traditions among American Indians; to conduct a research project focusing on a particular theme, issue, region, or community; and to develop their critical skills for use in academic, professional, and personal settings.

AIS 495 (pending 501): Indigenous Critical Theory, Clark

Oriented toward imagining far-reaching social change through knowledge production in American Indian Studies as a site of activism, this advanced course develops analytical frames at intellectual crossroads where the epistemologies that gather under the "indigenous" sign meet democratic inquiry (and its concerns with recognition) and a transhemispheric critical theory. Three questions structure the course. First, in what ways does indigenous critical theory construct a distinctive form of inquiry? Second, what knowledges does this sort of inquiry provide in order to justify criticism of settler-colonial ideas (and ideals) and institutions? Finally, what kinds of verification does indigenous critical inquiry require? Required readings include Alfred, Wasáse (2005); and Turner, This Is Not a Peace Pipe (2006).

This course meets the requirements for the pending Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies hosted by the American Indian Studies Program and is being offered as part of the Consortium on Institutional Cooperation's (CIC) CourseShare program.

Through state-of-the-art technologies CourseShare offers graduate students access to a variety of classes offered at CIC schools. In addition to meeting through videoconferencing technology with students at CIC institutions, the course also meets VIRTUALLY with graduate students in the Indigenous Politics Division of the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

AIS 590: American Indian Studies Grad Seminar, Parker

Topic: American Indian Literature

One course cannot "cover" the enormous chronological, cultural, or generic range of Native American literature, but it can gather a sampling of fascinating works, and it can introduce the fields of American Indian literature and American Indian studies both in themselves and in relation to the larger framework of contemporary American literary study. We will begin with oral tales and the practice and theory of translating and writing down Native American oral literature, looking at both older and newer models. Then we will read two novels from the 1930s: John Joseph Mathews' Sundown and D'Arcy McNickle's The Surrounded. In the second half of the semester we will concentrate on fiction and poetry from the great burgeoning of American Indian literature in the last thirty years, including Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine, and Thomas King's Medicine River, as well as poetry by Ray A. Young Bear, Joy Harjo, Erdrich, Chrystos, and Sherman Alexie.

Please note that students registered for the class will receive a possibly lengthy reading assignment for the first class at least one week before classes begin. Anyone considering the course is welcome to talk with me before registering (my office is English Building 329). Writing assignments will include your choice of either a) three short-to-medium length papers or b) one short paper followed by a paper that aspires to article scale. Assigned reading will include (tentatively) the novels and poetry listed above, the volumes listed below, and a large amount of additional material. (Students in the class will have the opportunity to prepare a paper for the annual CIC American Indian Studies Consortium Graduate Student Conference, either for 2008 or for 2009.) Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology, 1956; Finding the Center: Narrative Poetry of the Zuni Indians, ed. Dennis Tedlock, 1972, 1999; Ray A. Young Bear, Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives, 1992; R. D. Parker, The Invention of Native American Literature, 2003. Recommended: R. D. Parker, How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, 2008.

AIS 590 meets with English 553

Fall 2007

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Reese

Leaders in American Indian Studies observe that Native Americans remain among the least-understood groups, not only within the general public, but also among university scholars, administrators, and policymakers. This lack of understanding, in large part, is due to the fact that most of what has been written about Native peoples has been written by individuals who are not themselves Native American, or by individuals with little substantive or unbiased information about who Native people are. Layered on that is what people believe they know about Native Americans based upon representations of Native Americans in popular culture that offer narrow and biased depictions that suggest Native peoples no longer exist. In this course, you will have the opportunity to learn about Native American cultures in present and past contexts as you explore the history and vision(s) of American Indian Studies as it exists today. And, you will gain skills that help you view Native representations with a critical eye.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies, Howe

This course utilizes literature and history texts, legal documents, and films, both drama and comedy, to examine American Indian tribes and indigenous communities throughout the United States. During the semester students will be reading and writing on novels and poems by American Indian authors as well as history and legal texts as a way of understanding and interrogating the politics of race, gender, and cultural genocide as it applies to American Indians. Major themes are "land tenure and clocks," "borders and captivity," "identity chosen versus identity imposed," "ethnic cleansing 101," and "reservations and tribal sovereignty." This course is writing and reading intensive, highly interactive -- meaning it is driven by student inquiry.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

For PDFs of the readings in this course see below:

AIS 140: Native Religious Traditions, Treat

An interdisciplinary survey of native religious traditions, exploring the breadth and depth of spiritual expression among native people in North America. Assigned readings and class discussions cover a variety of important themes including sacred landscapes, mythic narratives, oral histories, communal identities, tribal values, elder teachings, visionary experiences, ceremonial practices, prayer traditions, and trickster wisdom. Students also consider historic encounters with missionary colonialism and contemporary strategies for religious self-determination. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speakers. Same as RLST 140.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 199: Open Undergraduate Seminar, Byrd

Topic: American Indians and Film

This course will focus on the ways in which Hollywood and other national cinema have portrayed the native "other" in films produced primarily between the 1950s and the present. We will begin with explorations of images and stereotypes of American Indians, focusing on how they have developed and changed over the years. Then, building on those understandings, we will question the narrative function of the native "other" in films, their relationship to plot, theme, and character, and how films about Indians play into the myths and imagination of the dominant society. Of particular concern will be the historical and material contexts for these movies and the cultural and political climate from which they emerge. By contextualizing the movies through the concerns of both the dominant society and of indigenous communities at the time these movies are produced, we can understand how representations of indigenous peoples serve not only to misinform but also speak on some fundamental level to the historical obsessions of the society that has produced them.

Some of the questions we will focus on throughout the course include: How do anxieties about particular historical moments inflect the ways that Hollywood returns to the recurring trope of Cowboys and Indians? How do these images and films connect to empire buildings and extend the work of Manifest Destiny? How have Westerns been translated to Pacific settings? Finally, we will look at the ways native filmmakers have been and are attempting to intervene into the different movie genres to transform and control media images of Indians.

AIS 265: Intro to American Indian Literature, Byrd

This course introduces students to study of American Indian literature by focusing on texts by contemporary American Indian novelists, poets, and playwrights. Over the course of the semester, students will consider how indigenous aesthetics shape narrative in addition to examining how American Indian authors engage the legacies of colonization and the histories of their tribal communities through their stories. By reading American Indian literatures as creative works that offer insights into decolonial imaginations, students will consider what role literature plays in indigenous resurgence and survivance as well as engage broader questions about the importance of national literatures and intellectual sovereignty for American Indian nations.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Reese

Topic: Politics of Children's Literature

Is Little House on the Prairie among your favorite children's books, or perhaps Indian in the Cupboard? What do you recall about the way that American Indians are presented in those or other favorite books from your childhood?

In this course, we will examine the ways that Native Americans are represented in children's literature as we engage the following questions: What do classic and popular children's books tell us about American Indians? Similarly, what can we say about racial or gendered representations in Babar, Little Black Sambo,The Five Chinese Brothers, or Daddy's Roommate?

Seeking answers to such questions requires that children's books be studied, not as isolated literary texts, but within the larger context of American society. Course readings will address the social and ideological functions of children's literature, literary and socio-political criticism of selected popular and classic children's books, and book reviews and essays about children's books by scholars, teachers, librarians, parents, and children.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Treat

Topic: Nature Writing and Empire

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the relationship between human experience and the natural environment through a focused study of nature writing. The course is organized around important but overlooked books and essays by American Indian writers, offering fresh perspectives on key themes in the popular and scholarly literature. Together we survey the history of nature writing in America, evaluate the uses of literary nonfiction in American Indian contexts, consider the emerging discourse of ecocriticism, and experiment with the techniques of nature writing in our own lives. Class discussions are supplemented by guest speakers, audiovisual materials, campus events, and optional field trips. Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of nature writing and of American Indian perspectives on this venerable genre; to reflect on the significance of "nature" and "writing" in contemporary life; and to develop their critical skills and creative abilities for use in academic, professional, and personal settings. Meets with ENGL 461.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Clark

Topic: Politics of Popular Culture--CANCELLED

Popular culture is a powerful site of expression, identity development, and conflict, and thus merits considerable critical attention. Concerned with interdisciplinary frameworks that allow us to "read" popular culture as well as with its actual forms and specific artifacts, this course seeks, first, to grasp how popular culture has legitimized the colonization of American Indian peoples and, second, to reflect on the ways in which Indians engage popular culture to assert an anti-oppression politics. Throughout the course, we ground "culture" in political contexts, paying special attention to the ways it produces consent to a colonial status quo and mediates emotions such as pleasure, disgust, satisfaction, and fear. There are two tracks through the course, one designed for undergraduates and another, more rigorous one for graduate students. Each has built-in flexibility and options.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Clark

Topic: Indigenous Critical Theory--CANCELLED

Oriented toward imagining decolonization, far-reaching social change, and radical redistributions of shared resources, this advanced reading and thinking course develops analytical frameworks and a relational politics at the intellectual crossroads where the innovative epistemologies of an American Indian-centered and community-grounded indigenous nations studies meets academically-based feminist theory, critical race theory, semiotic studies, linguistically oriented psychoanalysis, and postcolonial theory (to name only some of the many possibilities). This course should be especially promising for those undergraduate and graduate students who fundamentally are concerned with anti-oppression in their intellectual and activist work, and who already have begun projects and wish to move them further along.

Spring 2007

AIS 165: North American Indians, Farnell

This course helps students develop an understanding of the rich diversity of languages and cultures found among Native North American peoples from the perspectives of sociocultural and linguistic anthropology. Topics include: the EuroAmerican invention of the "Indian" and ongoing problems of representation; how language creates particular views of self and "reality"; philosophy, morals and humor through myth and storytelling; Plains Sign Language; language and landscape. First Year Discovery Program Course. Registration restricted to freshmen. Students should enroll in only one Discovery course.

AIS 199: Open Undergraduate Seminar, Reese

Topic: Intro to American Indian Studies

American Indians are among the least-understood groups in America, due in part to the way that they are presented in educational contexts such as elementary schools and in social contexts such as feature films. In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn about American Indians as we engage in conversations about the history and vision(s) of American Indian Studies. Students will read the work of Native scholars (including Vine Deloria, Jr., Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Beatrice Medicine, Philip Deloria, Tsianina Lomawaima, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Karen Swisher) from a range of disciplines. Through their work, these scholars are, in various ways, "talking back" to the status quo.

AIS 199: Open Undergraduate Seminar, Treat

Topic: Native Religious Traditions

An interdisciplinary survey of native religious traditions, exploring the breadth and depth of spiritual expression among native people in North America. Assigned readings and class discussions cover a variety of important themes including sacred landscapes, mythic narratives, oral histories, communal identities, tribal values, elder teachings, visionary experiences, ceremonial practices, prayer traditions, and trickster wisdom. Students also consider historic encounters with missionary colonialism and contemporary strategies for religious self-determination. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speakers.

HIST 200: Intro Hist Interpretation, Gilbert

Topic: Education and Assimilation

This course examines the history of indigenous education and the ways in which governments attempted to "educate" and assimilate indigenous people of the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada into mainstream "white" society (1800-1960). In addition to focusing on government policies, this course will examine how indigenous people responded to an education based primarily on colonial ideas and values. By consulting primary and secondary sources at the University library and using various ways of historical interpretation, this course will seek to explain how and why dominate cultures/governments sought to use non-indigenous educational methods to assimilate and acculturate indigenous people of North America and the Pacific.

AIS 278: US Native Americans since 1850, Hoxie

Overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment Native Americans inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. Course will also examine the ways in which native peoples survived amidst the economic, political, and social forces that were unleashed by the country's evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction, and secondary works.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Byrd

Topic: Indigenous Literatures

This course will ask students to think comparatively across indigenous writings in North America and the Pacific and to consider how indigenous traditions and knowledges inform and innovate contemporary fiction, poetry, and drama. We will begin by studying the historical roots of British and US colonialism and its effects on indigenous peoples in the US, New Zealand/Aotearoa, and the Pacific. Students will then consider how writing functions both as production of colonialist discourse and as sites for resistance within indigenous communities and politics. Some of the questions we will consider over the course of the semester include: How do indigenous writers engage histories of violence and colonialism? How do diasporic communities retain tradition and function in the lands of other indigenous peoples? What roles do literature and imagination play in indigenous resistance and survivance? Some of the authors we will read include Keri Hulme, Sherman Alexie, Haunani-Kay Trask, Joy Harjo, LeAnne Howe, Albert Wendt, James Welch, and Leslie Marmon Silko.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Treat

Topic: Nature Writing and Colonialism

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the relationship between human experience and the natural environment through a focused study of nature writing. The course is organized around important but overlooked books and essays by American Indian writers, offering fresh perspectives on key themes in the popular and scholarly literature. Together we survey the history of nature writing in America, evaluate the uses of literary nonfiction in American Indian contexts, consider the emerging discourse of ecocriticism, and experiment with the techniques of nature writing in our own lives. Class discussions are supplemented by guest speakers, audiovisual materials, campus events, and optional field trips. Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of nature writing and of American Indian perspectives on this venerable genre; to reflect on the significance of "nature" and "writing" in contemporary life; and to develop their creative abilities and critical skills for use in academic, professional, and personal settings.

Meets with ENGL 461 Sections AA/GA

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Gilbert

Topic: Indian Boarding Schools Experiences

This course will focus on the historical, cultural, and political factors that encompassed the American Indian boarding school experience of the nineteenth and twentieth century. By examining Native beliefs on tribal education, and observing how these understandings conflicted with American philosophies of education, this course will critically analyze federal Indian assimilation and acculturation policies that directly affected the forced and voluntary removal of Indian pupils to on and off-reservation boarding schools. In addition to consulting non-Native sources, this course will examine the Indian boarding school experience according to Native perspectives, as demonstrated in oral interviews, film, art, autobiographies, letters, and other related documents. Furthermore, while exposing the cruel realities Native pupils faced at boarding schools, this course will demonstrate how Indian people "turned the power" and used their boarding school experience/education to better themselves and their tribal communities. Meets with EPS 500 MG1.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Reese

Topic: History of American Indian Education

In this course, we will study the perceived need to "civilize" American Indians through educational initiatives from colonial times to the present day. Topics include mission schools, government boarding schools, and tribally run high schools and tribal colleges.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies, Byrd

Topic: Federal Indian Policy: Constitutional Tribulations, Competing Sovereignties

How are American Indian tribes defined legally? How does sovereignty exist within a "nations within" model? What are the historical, legal, and political processes that transformed American Indian nations' ability to enter into treaties into "domestic dependent" sovereignties? This course traces the evolution of U.S. federal law as it pertains to American Indian nations. From the doctrine of discovery, through which European nations asserted control over the lands they claimed, to the processes of reorganization and recognition that have shaped contemporary rights and struggles native nations currently face, this class will interrogate how American Indian nations were transformed into "domestic dependent nations." We will begin with an examination of how US law enacts and enforces colonization and how treaties demark the rights of Indian tribes. As the semester progress, we will focus on how American Indian nations are asserting self-determination and resisting 500 years of legal colonization.

ARTH 491: Native American Art History in the Era of Globalization, Berlo

Two key images -- one of an Indian in 1710 and one by an Indian in 2001--provide a starting point for an examination of the fact that the current literature on globalization in visual and cultural studies and in anthropology is nearly silent about the role of Native North Americans in global visual culture of the last 300 years. In this course, we will approach Native art as a history of the global rather than the local. Topics will include European materials in Native dress 1600-1900, Indians in Europe 1600-1995, cross-cultural collaborations in Plains and Navajo arts, and Native modernism(s) in the 20th century. Taught by Janet Catherine Berlo, Distinguished Mellon Fellow in Residence.

AIS 590: Am Indian Studies Grad Seminar, Juniad Rana

Topic: Race and Cultural Critique

This course examines recent works in the field of US Cultural Studies that draw from a critical tradition linked to British Cultural Studies and US studies of race and racism. To begin with, we examine the concepts of race and culture as they have critically evolved since the post-war era from the aforementioned scholarly traditions. We will then consider some recent monographs that combine various methodologies including those found in anthropology, history, legal studies, literary criticism and political economy, to develop critical understandings of the race and culture concepts. Our task throughout this class is to examine the complex relationship between race and culture, theoretically and ethnographically, and to understand how these concepts have shifted in meaning and usage. This course is based in examining the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of comparative studies. These traditions include: American Studies, Comparative Race Studies, Feminist Theory, Queer Theory, and others.

Fall 2006

AIS 199: Undergraduate Open Seminar, Clark

Topic: Contemporary Issues in Indian Country

Does it ever occur to you that at this moment, right now, you are standing or sitting on Indian land? Do you ever wonder where are the original peoples today who earlier called this land I occupy home? Our university uses a fiercely contested Indian image as its symbol, and claims to honor the memory of Indian peoples forcibly removed from the state of Illinois, but what do you really know about Indian cultures, histories, and peoples? What do you know about INDIAN COUNTRY today? In U.S. law, Indian Country is all land within the limits of any Indian reservation, all dependent Indian communities within U.S. borders, and all Indian allotments. Indian Country also might be understood as any place Indians live. It even might reasonably be conceived as all of North America.

In this course, we will use an interdisciplinary approach to frame and make sense out of recent and unfolding events and controversies in and emerging out of Indian Country today. Using mass media and other readings, lectures and presentations, guest speakers, and films such as Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action and In the Light of Reverence, as well as the advocacy work of Indian organizations such as the National Indian Child Welfare Association and the Indigenous Women's Network, particular attention in this course is devoted to understanding the dimensions of violence in Indian Country (particularly violence perpetrated against women), racism and colonialism, health and the well-being of Indian families and children, sovereignty and self-governance, jurisdictional disputes with state and federal governments, the defense of sacred places and homelands, decolonization, and the problem of representation in both political and cultural contexts.

Serious attention also is devoted to reflecting on numerous empowering examples of resistance and survival in the face of ongoing colonization and its historical residue, debilitating misrepresentation, and breathtaking ignorance. Readings include America is Indian Country: Opinions and Perspectives from Indian Country Today.

AIS 199: Undergraduate Open Seminar (same as RLST 199), Treat

Topic: Native People and Christianity

This is an interdisciplinary survey of the native religious experience, focusing on the native encounter with Christianity.

Situated at the intersection of native studies and religious studies, this course charts the cultural contexts for native religious history and explores native religious diversity in the contemporary period, particularly the relationship between tribal and Christian traditions in reservation and urban communities.

Assigned readings include (1) a basic overview of native religious traditions, (2) an anthology of theological essays by native Christian leaders, (3) a collection of writings on religion by Vine Deloria, Jr., and (4) a new anthology of fictional narratives about Christianity by native writers.

AIS 277 (same as HIST 277): US Native Americans to 1850, Hoxie

Survey of the Native American experience in North America from the arrival of Europeans to 1850. Explores the impact of European expansion on Native American communities, the ways in which Native American people adapted to the growing European presence, and the continuities and innovations that distinguished the indigenous world in this era. Focuses primarily on those parts of North America that became part of the United States.

AIS 490: Advanced Topics in AIS, Treat

Topic: Tribal Narratives

This seminar offers an interdisciplinary survey of what might be called tribalist autoinscriptions: literary nonfiction by contemporary native writers documenting their own communities.

Assigned readings feature representative texts that transcend conventional genre distinctions such as ethnography, historiography, and biography. Selected critical essays by scholars from a variety of humanistic and social scientific disciplines introduce useful theoretical perspectives and analytical tools. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials, including documentary films by native filmmakers portraying their own communities.

Key themes include: problems of representation and narrative strategy; intersections of chronology, community, and character; boundaries of genre; dialectics of time and space, history and myth, culture and personality; transformations of orality and literacy.

Tentative reading list: N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969); Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller (1981); Gerald Vizenor, The People Named The Chippewa: Narrative Histories (1984); Ray Young Bear, Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives (1992); Greg Sarris, Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream (1994); Louise Erdrich, Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (2003).

AIS 490: Advanced Topics in AIS (meets with ENGL 460), Reese

Topic: Politics of Children's Literature

Is Little House on the Prairie among your favorite children's books, or perhaps Indian in the Cupboard? What do you recall about the way that American Indians are presented in those or other favorite books from your childhood?

In this course, we will examine the ways that Native Americans are represented in children's literature as we engage the following questions: What do classic and popular children's books tell us about American Indians? Similarly, what can we say about racial or gendered representations in Babar,Little Black Sambo,The Five Chinese Brothers, or Daddy's Roommate?

Seeking answers to such questions requires that children's books be studied, not as isolated literary texts, but within the larger context of American society. Course readings will address the social and ideological functions of children's literature, literary and socio-political criticism of selected popular and classic children's books, and book reviews and essays about children's books by scholars, teachers, librarians, parents, and children.

AIS 490: Advanced Topics in AIS, Clark

Topic: Politics of Popular Culture

In this course, we will use critical race and cultural theory to make sense of -- to "read" -- markings, symbols, words, bodies, representations, depictions, and characterizations in American popular culture that are immediately and widely recognized as "Indian."

As numerous forms and varieties of this "Indian" sign move as commodities and imaginations and musings from their points of production into communities of differently-positioned consumers, they do so across borders and checkpoints and within the global marketplace. And they conjure up a complex framework of visual imagery, stereotypes, and assumptions that explain the place of American Indian peoples in the making of the United States and the "American" people. They shape social relations, as well as legal decisions, legislation and policy, and widely-shared and resonating expectations. Thus, analyses of the "Indian" sign allow us to gage where and how or IF power concentrates as (1) a coherent colonial imposition heaped upon the colonized or (2) a practically and continuously mediated relation among colonizers and between colonizer and colonized.

Through conversation and the exchange of ideas, shared readings, and individual research projects (which may or may not deal exclusively with the "Indian" in popular culture), we will interrogate the circuits of culture that create, produce, and enable the currency of and resistance to this and similar representations. We will ask how and why context matters not only for understanding the dynamic dimensions of how power works in and through popular culture, but also for the purpose of imagining methodologies for resistance.

In addition to a number of short documentaries and feature-length motion pictures, readings include Staging the Indian: The Politics of Representation, by Ian Berry; Indians in Unexpected Places, by Philip Deloria; Beyond the Cheers: Race as Spectacle in College Sport, edited by Rich King and Charles Springwood; The Lightning Shrikes, by Devon Mihesuah; Orientalism, by Edward Said; The Hunt for Willie Boy: Indian-Hating and Popular Culture, by James Sandos and Larry Burgess; The Red Man's on the Warpath: The Image of the "Indian" and the Second World War, by Scott Sheffield; and Colonialim's Culture, by Nicholas Thomas.

HIST 573: Seminar in American History since 1789 (meets with ANTH 516FH), Hoxie and Farnell

Topic: Writing Ethnohistories: Research and Composition with Nontraditional Sources

This seminar will explore the use of anthropological and historical methods in the construction of historical narratives. While focusing initially on native North America, the course will be valuable to people who are interested in the histories of peoples in any location or who wish to investigate new historical methodologies. Students will begin the course with an intensive period of reading and discussion before shifting to individual research projects.

Spring 2006

AIS 199: Undergraduate Open Seminar, Treat

Topic: Native People and Christianity

This is an interdisciplinary survey of the native religious experience, focusing on the native encounter with Christianity.

Situated at the intersection of native studies and religious studies, this course charts the cultural contexts for native religious history and explores native religious diversity in the contemporary period, particularly the relationship between tribal and Christian traditions in reservation and urban communities.

Assigned readings include (1) a basic overview of native religious traditions, (2) an anthology of theological essays by native Christian leaders, (3) a collection of writings on religion by Vine Deloria, Jr., and (4) a new anthology of fictional narratives about Christianity by native writers.

Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials, guest speakers, and campus events.

Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of native religious traditions; to reflect on the broader theoretical and practical questions raised by the intersections of religion, culture, and politics in a diverse and conflicted world; and to develop their critical skills for use in academic, professional, and personal settings.

AIS 199: Introduction to American Indian Studies, Clark

This course is an introduction to (1) the diversity of American Indian peoples and cultures and (2) the common challenges faced by Indian nations and the range of ways in which the governments and citizens of Indian nations respond to a state of ongoing occupation and appropriations of land and other of the earth's resources, voices and visions, identities, symbols, and human capital.

The course also introduces students to the American Indian studies discipline - the dynamic scholarship of American Indian studies - by looking critically at the assumptions and practice the discipline has about what counts as research, concentrating on the scholarship written by Natives. Emphasis in the class is on discussion and the exchange of ideas.

AIS 278: US Native Americans Since 1850, Clark and Hoxie

Overview of the Native American experience in the United States from 1850 to the present. Using lectures, classroom discussions, visual presentations and group projects, the course will explore the major events that altered the environment Native Americans inhabited following the establishment of the United States as a continental power. Course will also examine the ways in which native peoples survived amidst the economic, political, and social forces that were unleashed by the country's evolution into a modern nation state. Readings will include primary documents, Native American commentaries, historical fiction, and secondary works.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Hist&Philosoph Perspect, and US Minority Culture(s) course.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in AIS, Howe and Farnell

Topic: Indians in Space

This course examines indigenous approaches to theater, narrative arts, film, and multimedia, and the anthropology of performance (body movement/space/time). Of particular interest will be "Image" and "Image production" about American Indians in various genres, including film and theater. We will examine issues of indigenous identity and popular (mis)representations of Native peoples through the work if contemporary American Indian artists and scholars. Students will be applying theoretical understandings to their own creative work in the form of theater production and/or multimedia performances. Classes will include both lecture/seminar discussions and workshops.

AIS 490: Adv Topics in AIS, Larry Emerson

Topic: Indigenous Learning and Decolonizing Methodologies

This seminar is designed to create a decolonized space for learning. Learners originating from non-western histories and social frameworks are rarely afforded a space to construct and apply an indigenous critical lens relevant to their experience and study goals. Students will discuss and critically reflect on concepts, design, theory and practice issues within an indigenous context. Students may choose to engage learning projects of their own choosing or ones relating to leadership, activism, research and knowledge production, community building, and/or being an indigenous scholar.

Fall 2005

American Indian Studies 490: The Politics of Children's Literature, Reese

Is Little House on the Prairie among your favorite children's books? Or, perhaps Indian in the Cupboard? What do you recall about the way that American Indians are presented in those or other favorite books from your childhood?

Kate Shanley asserts that there is a certain kind of Indian that America "loves to love." Scholars of children's literature posit that children's books reflect the society that produces them.

In this course, we will examine the ways that Native Americans are represented in children's literature as we engage the following questions: What do the classic and popular children's books tell us about the Indians America loves to love? How have representations of Native Americans changed over time? What do they tell us about American society?

Seeking answers to such questions requires that children's books be studied, not as isolated literary texts, but within the larger context of American society. We will apply critical theoretical perspectives to classic and popular children's books as we examine representations of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans, sex, class, gender, and sexual orientation and the ways these representations intersect with the history and development of the United States.

Course readings will address the social and ideological functions of children's literature, literary and socio-political criticism of selected popular and classic children's books, and book reviews and essays about children's books by scholars, teachers, librarians, parents, and children.

Children's books we will examine span class, race, gender, and sexual orientation, and will include older classics such as The Travels of Babar,Little House on the Prairie,Sign of the Beaver,The Five Chinese Brothers,Little Black Sambo, and recent books such as Brother Eagle, Sister Sky,My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, and Turkey Girl: The Zuni Cinderella. We will also view films based on children's books, including "Indian in the Cupboard" and "The Education of Little Tree."

We will read children's books by Native American authors such as Louise Erdrich's The Birchbark House, Joseph Bruchac's Heart of a Chief, and Cynthia Leitich Smith's Jingle Dancer that "speak back" to classic and popular books. And we will read critical essays that provide a Native American perspective on classic and popular children's books about Native Americans.

Students will participate in internet discussions of books and ideas discussed in class, and write two short papers, one final paper (due on final exam day in lieu of the exam), and participate in class discussions.

Spring 2005

English 460 The Politics of Children's Literature, Reese

Is the creator of Babar telling a story about the adventures of an elephant, or is he making a point about the benefits of wealth? Is there something to be gained by portraying Native Americans in children's books as primitive savages, Asians as looking exactly alike, or Mexican Americans as illiterate migrant workers? Are female characters primarily presented as housewives, teachers, and nurses?

R. Gordon Kelly (1973) argued that -- more than any other class of literature,-- children's books "reflect the minds of the generation that produced them." As such, he argued, there is no better guide to the history and development of any country than its juvenile literature (pp. 89-90). If we assume Kelly's statement is valid, what do children's books tell us about society?

In this class, we will examine the ways that social class, race (African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/a American, and especially Native Americans), and gender are represented in classic and popular works of children's literature, and we will consider the ways these representations intersect with the history and development of the United States.

ANTH 165 North American Indians, Farnell

This course develops an understanding of the rich diversity of languages and cultures found among Native North American peoples from the perspectives of socio-cultural and linguistic anthropology. We ask, "Why is a language so important to the people that use it?" and "How can the study of languages help us to understand cultural worlds that are radically different from our own?" The American Indian is a powerful and complex symbol in North American culture and so we first reflect upon what we already know, or think we know, about this subject. How much of our (mis)understanding is based on stereotypes and misconceptions? To understand this historically, we look briefly at the invention of the "Indian" by their European colonizers, investigate the construction and representation of the "Indian" in popular culture, and, most importantly, listen to what American Indians themselves have to say about all this. The class includes several Native American guest speakers, visits to Native American events on campus, and an off-campus field trip.

Fall 2004

History 200: Introduction to Historical Interpretation, Hoxie

This is a course that introduces students to historical research and interpretation but the topic for my section of the course will be "Natives and Newcomers: European Expansion and Indigenous Peoples in North America and the Pacific."

English 274: Literature and Society, McKinn

Topic: Native Voices: Resistance and Renewal in Contemporary American Indian Literatures. In discussing how American Indians struggle to represent themselves in non-Native forms and languages, Acoma poet Simon Ortiz says, "There is not a question of authenticity here; rather it is the way that Indian people have creatively responded to forced colonization." We begin the semester with the contours of this "forced colonization," but we will go on to read a selection of American Indian creative works in a variety of genres which include poetry, autobiography, prose, and fiction. Our method of reading these texts will be rooted in literary analysis, but we will also discuss relevant historical, legal, and ethnographic material concerning specific nations and cultures (Laguna Pueblo, Pomo, and Navajo for example). We will examine works with an eye toward specifically reviewing how these native voices-and more generally how particular themes, sources, techniques, concerns, and worldviews, as well as the diverse racial, gendered, and national identities-relate the different forms and histories into a body of literature that may be considered "American Indian." Contributions to class discussions and written critiques of each book read, two papers, and a final exam will be required.