This course surveys Native American/Indigenous histories from the era of the U.S. Civil War to the present as well as future. Beginning with the violences experienced by Native communities at Sand Creek in 1864, it traces how diverse Native nations navigated the tumultuous times that followed, up to the recent actions at Standing Rock and Mauna Kea in the 21st century. Topics include Indigenous perspectives on “modernities”; creation and contestation of reservation systems; connections with African-American families and communities; residential school experiences of Native youth and families; Indigenous visual and performative artistic traditions and transformations, both in North America and abroad; “urban Indians” and the relocation era; Red Power activism and Indigenous internationalism; treaty rights, American Indian Law, and federal recognition debates; environmental interventions and food sovereignty movements; and critiques of settler colonialism. The course stresses the resilience of sovereign Indigenous nations into the present, and introduces students to a wide range of methodological approaches from Native American and Indigenous Studies and history. It blends big-picture vantages on these topics with microhistorical accounts of particular individuals, communities, and events, and offers a continental view of historical changes coupled with attention to the specific area of the Native Northeast in which Williams College is situated.
Format: lecture; lecture blended with discussion
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class discussion, reading responses, short analytic essays, archival/object analysis, final essay
Hist/AmSt 254: Native American Histories to 1865 is good preparation for this course, but not required
History and American Studies majors; then first- and second-year students from any major
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course focuses on Native American/Indigenous experiences in North American and transnationally, and offers immersion in critical perspectives on settler colonialism and U.S. law and practice, and well as introduction to methodologies in Native American and Indigenous Studies.
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada