ES 256 Introduction To Native American Studies

Fall 2020
IRES major
IRES minor

Focuses on historical, social, and cultural issues in Native America and surveys scholarship in Native American studies.

It has been suggested that when approaching the topic of Native American Studies, most people start not at point zero, but at negative ten because they carry so many myths and stereotypes about Native Americans that unlearning misinformation is the first step in the learning process. This class will dissect some of those long-held myths about Native peoples and examine their impact on Native Americans and, in the process, provide students a fuller, more sophisticated understanding of contemporary and historical Native lives and communities. This class reflects the interdisciplinarity of the field of Native American Studies, drawing on history, anthropology, law, political science, literature, film and other media to produce holistic understandings of Native lives. Central themes include indigeneity, sovereignty, race relations, culture and cultural change, colonialism, treaties, federal Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian policy, the ?Indian Renaissance? of the last forty years, death, trauma, survival, and official and unofficial discourses around Native identities. This course will also provide necessary foundations for students wishing to pursue more disciplinarily-focused advanced courses.