Courses

Fall 2024

Native American Literature (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AMS 322 / ENG 242

A survey of Native American Literature. In place of US origins stories, we consider the dispossession of land and waters and the impact on the environment. We reflect on the United States' attempts to eliminate Indigenous people and correspondent modes of survival and resistance. Our goal is to attend to individual and tribal experiences of life under settler colonialism, and consider the political, social, and psychological conditions that this structure produces. In this class, we aim for a more holistic understanding of the past and present in America, such that we can imagine alternative futures.

Instructors
Sarah Rivett
Visible/Invisible Worlds: Anthropology in Film and Data (SA)
Subject associations
ANT 252

In this entrée to anthropology's visual modes, we explore documentary film as a way to represent experience, identity, and conflict through the senses, and we study data and visualizations to reveal the imperceptible, unexpected, and abstract structures of social life. We assess their realist truth claims and learn to see the world from indigenous media makers whose projects point beyond decolonization and toward knowing visible and invisible ties among people and with more than human species and natural forces. Our aim is to enlarge the material and cultural possibilities for making legible the complexities of critical social issues.

Instructors
Jeffrey D. Himpele
Justice (CD or SA)
Subject associations
ANT 263 / HUM 263

What does "Justice" mean? What do efforts to achieve "Justice" tell us about injury, retribution, and peace? This class will explore how justice is defined and sought by looking at criminality, fights for indigenous and women's rights, post-conflict transitions, environmental catastrophe, debates about reparations, and intimate forms of repair. We will combine a global perspective with engaged local work to think about what struggles for justice look like in theory and on the ground. These debates will illuminate about how the past is apprehended, and how visions of possible utopias and dystopias are produced in the present.

Instructors
Staff
Indigenous Futures: Health and Wellbeing within Native Nations (CD or HA)
Subject associations
ANT 333 / HIS 233 / AMS 432

This course uses historical and anthropological methods to examine the health of Native communities. By investigating the history, social structures, and colonial forces that have shaped and continue to shape contemporary Indigenous nations, we investigate both the causes of contemporary challenges and the ways that Native peoples have ensured the vibrancy, wellness, and survival of their peoples. We will treat health as a holistic category and critically examine the myriad factors that can hinder or enable the wellbeing of Native nations.

Instructors
Elizabeth Ellis
Ikaika Ramones
Co-seminar in Anthropology (Full-Term): Literary Anthropology
Subject associations
ANT 503

This seminar introduces students to the theoretical and methodological concerns of different professors in the department. It hones their craft as writers, thinkers and field workers, to critically reflect on social worlds and their assumptions about them, and to gain new insights into what constitutes the project of literary anthropology. It considers literary ethnography as a distinctive genre of writing, knowing, and relation.

Instructors
Laurence Ralph
Introduction to African Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
ART 260 / AAS 260 / AFS 260

An introduction to African art and architecture from prehistory to the 20th century. Beginning with Paleolithic rock art of northern and southern Africa, we will cover ancient Nubia and Meroe; Neolithic cultures such as Nok, Djenne and Ife; African kingdoms, including Benin, Asante, Bamun, Kongo, Kuba, Great Zimbabwe, and the Zulu; Christian Ethiopia and the Islamic Swahili coast; and other societies, such as the Sherbro, Igbo, and the Maasai. By combining Africa's cultural history and developments in artistic forms we establish a long historical view of the stunning diversity of the continent's indigenous arts and architecture.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Collecting and Exhibiting Art of the Ancient Americas (HA)
Subject associations
ART 485 / LAS 485

How have collecting practices shaped the perception of Indigenous cultures in the Americas? The recognition and reception of native art and architecture reflects the evolving intellectual preoccupations of collectors over 500 years. Charting this history, topics will include the role of archaeological illustrations; the invocation of national identities; issues of appropriation in modern and contemporary art; the faking and restoration of objects; the ethical considerations of museum display; the reconstruction of ruins into tourist destinations; and misrepresentations in New Age religiosity, conspiracy theories, and popular entertainment.

Instructors
Alanna Radlo-Dzur
Coming to Our Senses: Climate Justice - Climate Change in Film, Photography and Popular Culture (EM)
Subject associations
ENV 251 / GSS 251 / ENG 243

This immersive, multimedia course invites us to come to our senses in creative ways, exploring climate crises like melting ice, rising oceans, deforestation and displacements. We will come alive to hidden worlds, kayaking the Millstone and trips to Manhattan, engaging animal and environmental studies. Through film, images and writing, we explore the vital ways environmental issues intersect with gender, race and sexualities. Themes include: wilderness; national parks; violent settler colonialism; masculinities; militarization; Indigenous knowledges; animal intelligence and emotions; slow violence; the commons; and strategies for change.

Instructors
Anne McClintock
Native American History (CD or HA)
Subject associations
HIS 271 / AMS 271

This course is designed to introduce students to the historical processes and issues that have shaped the lives if Indigenous Americans over the past five centuries. We will explore the ways that the diverse peoples who lived in the Americas constructed different kinds of societies and how their goals and political decisions shaped the lives of all those who would come to inhabit the North American continent. The course requires students to read and analyze historical documents and contemporary literature, and includes a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

Instructors
Elizabeth Ellis
Colonial Latin America to 1810 (HA)
Subject associations
HIS 303 / LAS 305

What is colonization? How does it work? What kind of societies does it create? Come find out through the lens of the Latin America. First we study how the Aztec and Inca empires subdued other peoples, and how Muslim Iberia fell to the Christians. Then, we learn about Spanish and Portuguese conquests and how indigenous resistance, adaptation, and racial mixing shaped the continent. You will see gods clash and meld, cities rise and decline, and insurrections fail or win. Silver mines will boom and bust, slaves will toil and rebel; peasants will fight capitalist encroachments. This is a comprehensive view of how Latin America became what it is.

Instructors
Vera S. Candiani
History of the American West, 1500-1999 (CD or HA)
Subject associations
HIS 430 / AMS 430

This course will examine the U.S. West's place, process, idea, cultural memory, conquest, and legacies throughout American history. The American West has been a shifting region, where diverse individuals, languages, cultures, environments, and competing nations came together. We will examine the West's contested rule, economic production, and mythmaking under Native American Empires, Spain, France, England, individual filibusters, Mexico, Canada, and United States.

Instructors
Rhae Lynn Barnes
Carceral Politics and Intimacy Across Central America (CD or SA)
Subject associations
LAS 384 / ANT 284

Central America resurfaced with El Salvador's war on gangs, arresting over 75,000 people in the past two years. This course will examine the history and politics of carceral logics around crime and race in Central America through an intersectional and ethnographic perspective. Starting with a historical excavation, we'll focus on Central America's war on gangs from a transnational perspective, including the role of the U.S. in the making of a "gang crisis", and we will examine the policing of black and indigenous populations. Throughout the course, we will discuss how carceral politics shape forms of intimacy, especially in the family realm.

Instructors
Grazzia Grimaldi
Indigenous North Africa: Amazigh Communities (CD or HA)
Subject associations
NES 251 / AFS 251 / ANT 374

This course exposes students to the historical, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural factors that have shaped Indigenous Amazigh communities in Tamazgha (North Africa) and its diasporas. It examines the role that Amazigh communities have played in revitalizing their cultures in contemporary Tamazgha and makes visible the acknowledgement the Amazighity of lands in North Africa and complexities of language, cultural identity, and colonialism in the region. Many resources in the source will be taken from the instructor's talks with family members, other Indigenous scholars, and activists in the community.

Instructors
Mounia Mnouer
Literatures from the Forest: Amazonian Storytelling, Activism, and Art (LA)
Subject associations
POR 270 / LAS 270

The ancestral home of millions of dwellers, the symbolic space of the Amazon rainforest and its cities has been dominated by colonial thought for almost 500 years. Fortunately, the last few decades have witnessed the emergence of critically engaged Indigenous artists, whose productions provide a decolonizing perspective and create a broader and deeper artistic imagination. This course will critically examine how writers, travelers, and visual artists have imagined and re-imagined Amazonia.

Instructors
Rodrigo Simon de Moraes
Readings in Religion in the Americas: Religions of Indigenous America
Subject associations
REL 516

This course provides an introduction for graduate students to significant literature on key themes, approaches, shifts, and concerns in the study of religion in the Americas focused on a particular topic across historical periods and locales. Readings may consist of critical reappraisal of primary sources, secondary scholarship that contributed to shaping the field and debates, and recent scholarship that exemplifies current and future trajectories. Examples of such topics may be religions of Indigenous peoples, religion and post-colonialism, migration of religions, religion and fiction literature, etc.

Additional description

Within only a couple of decades after first-contact Indigenous authors began drawing from their antiquity to write accounts, in their own languages, about their peoples’ cosmogonic emergence. This course will consist of key texts of this Native American religious literature beginning with the earliest and most influential, such as by the Maya, Mexica/Aztec, and Quechua/Inka as well as later in the wider Americas. Through such readings, related critical issues will be examined regarding how and by whom Indigenous religions are rendered and the ethnohistorical engagements with Christianities, ethnographers, editors and translators, and activist movements.

Instructors
Garry Sparks