The first Americans met Europeans on their shores over five hundred years ago. They made the continent theirs millennia prior. And yet, Indigenous Americans are often missing, or misrepresented—in traditional, even contemporary portraits of North America. In this course, Indigenous peoples and perspectives anchor our study of the past and present.
An introduction to Native North America—and Native American and Indigenous Studies—this course will offer a sweeping portrait of the histories and legacies of settler colonialism, war, dispossession, and slavery in the continent; it will also reckon with contemporary issues, like reparations and the LandBack movement. Whenever possible, a global perspective will illuminate aspects of settler colonial states in places such as Australia, Finland, and Japan. More than anything, this sort of perspective will bring into view the magnitude of Indigenous power, resilience, and solidarity.
Specific subjects of study include: land loss; Native culture and spirituality; inter-cultural and inter-ethnic relations; human-nature interactions; U.S. land management practices, including resource extraction; Indian law and legal violence; sovereignty and self-determination; decolonization and reparations; gender equity and human rights.
This interdisciplinary course draws from academic literature as well as the arts; this includes historical scholarship, the law, literature, film, settler colonial studies, and global history. Over the course of the term we will explore the ways in which these disciplines offer discrete approaches to the study of Native North America.