Cornell Courses Taught:
Introduction to American Indian Studies II: Indigenous Issues in Global Perspectives - AIS 1110.
Course Description: Interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary issues in American Indian country north of Mexico after 1890. Examines Indian sovereignty, nationhood, agency, and engagement through time using the perspective of American Indian studies. Course materials are drawn from the humanities, social science, and expressive arts.
Course Themes and Topics: Using a thematic approach that is conducive to an interdisciplinary perspective the course explores four major themes relevant to American Indian Studies: (1) the political economy of imperialism where colonization extends beyond occupation of the land to ones individuality including both body and mind; (2) the nature-culture dichotomy as a means of natural resource exploitation, generation of dependency, resulting impacts of human induced climate change, and movements to re-orient to environmental stewardship approach; (3) Multiple dimensions of sovereignty including federal policy, treaties and land claims, cross-border international relations, food production and cultural reclamation; and (4) Arts as a means of liberation, resilience, and self-determination.
The thematically distributed course topics are elaborated by questions. This interrogative approach seeks to engender reflection supported by lectures and informed class discussion. After theme based lectures, fifty minutes will be set aside each week for class discussion. This discussion or seminar will contextualize, analyze, and examine policy implications of readings and case studies.
Course Objectives: Based on diverse including principally Native American scholarship, the objectives of this course are: 1. To view contemporary issues in American Indian Studies with a historical sense that not only conveys the “pastness of the past” but its presence and relevance for the future; 2. To examine current issues in American Indian Studies that are important to Native communities; 3. To apply an interdisciplinary lens in understanding indigenous socio-cultural and ecological issues; 4. To appreciate the complex interconnectivity between the ecological and the socio-cultural; 5. To comprehend that policy actions informed by cultural systems manifest themselves in social structures that rely on ecological foundations; 6. To situate American Indian Studies within a humanistic framework of knowledge generation; and 7. To illustrate the relevance and contribution of American Indian Studies to broader issues of humanity in the 21st Century.