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The graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies offers advanced training in theory and methodology to students who want to integrate Indigenous studies into their graduate degree program.

Graduate Minor -- requirements (12 hours total)

  • AIS 501, AIS 502, or AIS 503
  • Elective hours selected from a list of approved courses maintained in the Program office by the AIS advisor, 4 of which must be at the 500 level.

AIS 501: Indigenous Critical Theory

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 postcolonial theory (to name only some of many possibilities). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of the instructor.

AIS 502: Indigenous Decolonial Methods

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 503: Seminar in Indigenous Studies

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. Prerequisite: AIS 501 and AIS 502, or consent of the instructor. May be repeated with different professors in subsequent semesters to a maximum of 8 hours.

Graduate Courses -- electives

AIS 430: Indigenous Governance

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. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200-level American Indian Studies course or consent of instructor.

AIS 451: Politics of Children's Lit

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 459: Topics in American Indian Lit

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 461: Politics of Popular Culture

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 COMM 461. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Credit is not given for both AIS 461 and COMM 320 or COMM 570. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200-level American Indian Studies course or consent of the instructor.

AIS 481: History of Amer Indian Educ

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 490: Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Any course in American Indian Studies; junior standing; or consent of instructor.

AIS 491: Readings in Am Ind 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 590: Am Indian Studies Grad Seminar

May be repeated up to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of 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.