AIS 105 Introduction to American Indian Studies
Designed to introduce students to the content areas of the American Indian studies curriculum, this course includes an overview of American Indian history, federal Indian policy, land issues, reservation and urban issues, cross-cultural influences, and American Indian literature, art, music, and language.
OJB 111, 112 Beginning Ojibwe I, II
An introduction to the language and culture of the Ojibwe (Chippewa). Emphasis is on vocabulary, reading, writing, and conversational skills. Classroom practice will include linguistic patterns and oral interaction.
ANT 141 Cultural Anthropology
This course serves as an introduction to cultural anthropology. Course objectives include providing students with an understanding of anthropological methods and theories, the concepts of race and culture, an appreciation and awareness of differing cultures, and an awareness of the role cultural anthropology has in understanding contemporary human problems.
AIS 205 Contemporary American Indians
In this topics-oriented course, students focus on issues that face contemporary American Indians, including tribal sovereignty and identity politics, treaty rights, language retention and education, religious freedom, and Indian activism.
AIS 208 Native American Women and Film
Beginning with issues of representation and a history of Hollywood’s portrayal of Native American woman as princess figures, sexualized maidens, or squaws, we will expand our conceptualization of Native American women by putting into conversation a variety of voices that talk back to or address mainstream stereotypes of Native American women. Our goal is to expand our conceptualizations of Native American women and their important roles in society by examining a variety of cultural issues as they are presented through documentary and fiction films made by and about Native American women.
AIS 233 Women: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
This course examines a variety of issues concerning the biological, evolutionary, and historical origins of women’s roles and status in society. Comparative roles of women are examined in tribal contexts across various indigenous cultures. Studies include the role of women in Native American and African tribes, peasant societies of Eastern Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, and China.
HIS 236 American Indian History
A study of the native people of North America from the pre-Columbian period through European exploration and settlement to the present, emphasizing American Indian contributions to world culture, tribal structure, and intergovernmental relations.
ENL 255 American Indian Literature
American Indian Literature offers a survey of contemporary American Indian writing, including nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama. The course explores the richness and diversity of American Indian literature and the ways in which literature reflects and illuminates American Indian culture and traditions. The course emphasizes close readings of literature and public speaking skills through in-class presentation and small group discussion.
AIS 264 American Indians in the Cinema
Indians in the Cinema surveys various images of American Indians created by Hollywood and television. Focusing on films from the 1910s to the present, the course provides an understanding of how American Indians were portrayed in film historically, how this image has evolved over the past century, and how it is reflective of Western cultural and racial ideologies.
ART 290 Tribal Arts and Culture
An exploration of the rich heritage of visual arts from indigenous communities of North America, surveying the dynamic nature of Native American art spanning from pre-European contact into the present while exploring the political nature of that trajectory as it encounters cultural change, Western aesthetics, and Western concepts of art. Students will meet Native artists, visit a variety of Native American art galleries and exhibitions, and learn about the cultural, social, and political context surrounding Native American art.
AIS 305 Indigenous Issues of Central America
This travel seminar explores issues faced by indigenous peoples of Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Mexico. Each group faces similar challenges that manifest differently due to the political, social, and cultural influence about sovereignty, land rights, economy, religion, cultural survival, women’s issues, and political movements through site visits of the dominant culture in each country. Students will learn and interaction with indigenous organizations. This course is cross-listed with Women’s Studies.
AIS 320 American Indian Women
Through life histories of Indian women, the course examines the vital roles and contributions of women in past and present tribal cultures. It explores the continuity of women’s roles over time and the changes in these roles, precipitated by the influences of Western colonialism. The course also assesses how American Indian women have crossed cultural boundaries and influenced non-tribal communities through their activism and traditionalism. This course is cross-listed with women’s studies.
AIS 332 Native American Storytelling
The objective of this course is to study Native American storytelling from a cultural perspective. An appreciation of oral traditions will be emphasized and studied within the broader context of world mythologies. Students will be expected to perform storytelling and to research the various tribal storytelling traditions.
ENL 355 Themes in American Indian Literature
The course is structured around a number of writers working within a particular theme such as Native Voices of Minnesota, Voices from the Southwest, Poetics and Politics of Native Writing, Women and Power in Native Literature, Urban-Reservation: Homing, and American Indian film-literature adaptation. Students focus on primary texts, comparing and contrasting theme, voice, aesthetic, or cultural emphasis as it shifts or arises across the group of texts. Course cross-lists with English. (Prereq.: ENL 220 or 221, or a 200-level literature course, or consent of instructor.)
AIS 364 Indigenous Filmmakers
Indigenous Filmmakers introduces students at the junior and senior level to the exciting and expanding field of indigenous media—specifically films made by Native Americans. We will explore the political and social forces at work behind the American indigenous film movement, which responds to mainstream film’s portrayal of Native Americans and provides an extraordinary range in perspectives and views that inform Native American cultures.
REL 370 American Indian Spirituality and Philosophical Thought
Religious beliefs, spiritual customs, and philosophy of North American Indians are studied. Tribal similarities and differences are explored as are tribal relationships with nature, religious oversight of life cycles, sacred ritual ceremonies, and beliefs in an afterlife.
AIS 408 Native American Women and Film
Beginning with issues of representation and a history of Hollywood’s portrayal of Native American woman as princess figures, sexualized maidens, or squaws, we will expand our conceptualization of Native American women by putting into conversation a variety of voices that talk back to or address mainstream stereotypes of Native American women. Our goal is to expand our conceptualizations of Native American women and their important roles in society by examining a variety of cultural issues as they are presented through documentary and fiction films made by and about Native American women. (Prereq.: WST 201 or any 2XX women’s studies course; or AIS 105 or any 2XX American Indian studies course; or consent of instructor.)
AIS 490 Keystone Indigenous Issues of Central America
This travel seminar explores issues faced by indigenous peoples of Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Mexico. Each group faces similar challenges that manifest differently due to the political, social, and cultural influences of the dominant culture in each country. Students will learn about sovereignty, land rights, economy, religion, cultural survival, women’s issues, and political movements through site visits and interaction with indigenous organizations.
AIS 495 Topics in American Indian Studies
Individual courses designed to investigate specific topics such as Minnesota Indians, Contemporary Indigenous Issues of North and South America, and American Indian Literature Seminar.
AIS 499 Independent Research
An independently-designed research project.