AMST 401
Policing Nations: Indigenous Nations and the Carceral State Spring 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity

Class Details

This course examines the birth of the prison on Indigenous lands – how the settler carceral state emerged from the legal and political architectures of conquest as well as from Transatlantic slavery. It examines the continuities between the prison, the reservation, the barracks, the plantation, Boarding Schools and foster homes as modes of incarcerating Indigenous life and movements for liberation. To do so, we will be engaging with Indigenous legal theory, movements, and writings on the carceral state, including writings from incarcerated Indigenous intellectuals, Boarding School and foster care survivors, and feminists. Our approach will be rooted in the interdisciplinary practices of Native American and Indigenous Studies, American Studies, legal studies and political theory. This course strives to provide a history of the present through examining the relations, structuring presuppositions, discourses and material edifices of conquest and genocide on Turtle Island and for Indigenous nations in settler states across the globe. We will end by thinking with Indigenous feminist mappings of abolition and futures beyond the prison house of the settler state. The pedagogical aims of this course will be to illustrate the role of conquest, anti-Indigeneity and settler law in producing the contemporary prison system, and to introduce students to the broad canon of Indigenous legal theory and Indigenous legal traditions that do not proceed from carceral premises. It will aim to facilitate skills in primary source analysis, in proficiency with legal theory, in independent research, and critical analysis of different forms of the carceral state.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3345
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Final Paper: 40%; Weekly Reading Responses 30%; Participation 10%; Seminar Presentations: 20%
Prerequisites: At least one of the following: AFRI 234; AMST/AFR 209; AFRI 210; AFR 318:AMST 142: AMST 146; AMST 260; INTR 220/AMST 201; INTR 320/LEAD 319; AMST 356; PSCI 210; INTR/AFR 340
Enrollment Preferences: AMST Majors;
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: This course centers upon the ways that the power is exercised through the prison industrial complex (PIC), education and child protective systems, particularly as it pertains to the way this power has impacted Native American communities, people and nations; it is concerned with understanding the roots of social difference and how Indigenous activists have confronted these institutions.
Attributes: AMST 400-level Senior Seminars
JLST Interdepartmental Electives

Class Grid

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