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What does it mean to be a citizen of an Indigenous nation? Why are there laws against selling inauthentic Native American art? Who is two spirit and what obligations and politics does that position and identity entail? Where do we locate tradition and Indigenous peoples in time? In this course, we will address these questions and more, surveying indigeneity as it is constructed and expressed in historical narratives, activism and education, governance and identity, art and literature, science and religion, and gender and sexuality. Knowledge of the Indigenous is a foundational element of the United States. From missionaries documenting Indigenous languages, to sports mascots, DNA testing, and even to New Age spirit quests and sweat lodges, the coherence and legitimacy of this settler colonial empire has demanded expertise in and the appropriation of Indigenous bodies, knowledges, and cultures as a means of continually displacing and erasing them. And yet, that is not the only way to produce knowledge of, by, and with Indigenous people. Indigenous Studies provides a variant way of thinking and learning about indigeneity. The imperative of Indigenous Studies is to understand Indigenous peoples on their own terms and the world on those same terms. In this course we will explore not only questions related to Native America today, but also the various reasons and implications for why we study it.
Format: seminar; This course will be taught remotely. Class sessions will include asynchronous lectures and Zoom-based discussion sections. Additionally, we will interact through online message boards and group film screenings.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
attendance and class participation, three 3- to 5-page essays, and one in-class presentation
American Studies majors or first- and second-year students
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course addresses the dynamics of power inherent in studying Indigenous people in the academy, and will provide students the vocabulary and framework necessary to interrogate how settler colonialism and Indigenous survivance intersects with questions of race, gender, sexuality, and the construction of difference.
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora