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American Indian Studies

Related Courses at Northwestern University
and
Other Information about American Indian Issues

NAISA

Events

Winter, 2015 Courses

Resources

Previous courses

                      

 

In response to interest by faculty and students, this website provides the beginnings

of a central source for information

about courses at Northwestern University that are related to American Indian issues as well as information about local organizations, museums, and events.

NU American Indian and Indigenous Student Association

For Native and other interested students

(formed in 2011-2012)

Faculty advisor: Doug Medin

For more information contact

Forrest Bruce and Wilson Smith (NAISA Co-Presidents) at

northwestern.naisa@gmail.com

EVENTS

Chicago Area Events

Oct-Nov, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Newberry Library

Ned Blackhawk

“John Evans and the Question of Genocide”

Ned Blackhawk is Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, and a member of the NU John Evans Study Committee

See details here

November 12, 2014

6:00pm-8:00pm

Carlos Montezma Memorial Lecture

Guest Speaker

Richard West

Southern Cheyenne, President & CEO of the Autry Museum and founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian

sponsored by the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, the Colloquium of Inidgeneity and Native American Studies, NU Native American and Indigenous Student Association and others

Location on the Evanston Campus - TBD

Free  for  tribal  members,  admission  fee  $12  members/$15  non-members.  

For  more  information,  call  the Museum at 847-475-1030.

Winter, 2015 Classes

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Be sure to check this website before registering for next quarter's classes to see the latest offerings

Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice

Religious Studies - Professor Sarah Taylor

This is a case study learning-based seminar that explores sites of eco-racism and complex struggles for eco-justice in Native American communities.  Course material focuses on Native American perspectives on environmental justice. Case studies will include conflicts over sites of mining, deforestation, water pollution, nuclear waste, and other toxic waste dumping.  Issues of genocide, survival, self-determination, and links between environmental degradation and the impact on religio-cultural practices will be discussed. Students will be asked to conduct original research and to produce a case study of their own as the seminar's final project.

RESOURCES

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Learn about Northwestern's research on the Sand Creek Massacre by the

John Evans Study Committee

and about next steps by the Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force

Find out about community events and the American Indian community in Chicago by

visiting the American Indian Center website.

Visit the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston.

See the Newberry Library's D'Arcy McNickle Center for Indigenous Studies webpage to view their program offerings and to explore their extensive American Indian and Indigenous Studies collecti

Faculty Publications:

Ogimawkwe Mitigwaki: Queen of the Woods - a novel by Simon Pokagon

new edition with essays by John Low and others

(Lecturer, 2011-12)


Stephanie Fryberg (University of Arizona) and Nicole Stephens (Kellogg). 2010. When the World is Colorblind, American Indians are invisible. Psychological Inquiry. 21: 115-119.

 
   

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Classes originate in many departments, including

Psychology, Religion, Anthropology, History, American Studies and African American Studies

Are you aware of relevant courses not listed here? 

Contact us at j-woodring@northwestern.edu

For more information about specific classes listed below,

please contact the instructor or department.

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Courses offered spring, 2014

Instructor - Visiting Writer in Residence Mark Turcotte (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Writing 301-The Art of Fiction: Short-Short Prose and Prose Poetry

English 378-Native American Literature: Mark Turcotte’s Native American Literature: This course will be an introductory survey of a wide range of Native American and First Nations literature.  

Courses offered winter, 2013

ANTHRO 311 Indians of North America - Carrie Heitman

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Courses offered spring, 2012

**NEW COURSE**

AMST 310-21 – Spring 2012

American Indians – Contemporary Issues in Indian Country 

M/W 2:00 – 3:20 – Parkes 224

John Low

There are currently more than 560 federally recognized American Indian Nations within the borders of the United States This course explores the contemporary legal, cultural, historic economic, social, and political issues, experiences, perspectives, and futures of American Indians in the U.S. We will employ a very holistic and interdisciplinary approach, and draw together materials from a variety of sources. Themes will include issues of multiculturalism, individual and community identity, social justice, Indigenous feminism, sexual orientation, racism, genocide, land ownership, environmental degradation, and ways of knowing and learning. We will address a number of critical questions that affect, and are shaped by, Indigenous peoples of North America through various disciplines including history, sociology, literature, and anthropology among others. Lectures and class discussions will be supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speaker/s. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to, and gain an appreciation for, Native American Indian communities, cultures, histories, perspectives, experiences, lives, and contemporary issues.  This course is open to motivated freshman.

**NEW COURSE**

History 300-45 – Spring 2012

American Indians – History of the Red Power Movement   

M/W 11:00 -12:30 – Technological Institute 128

John Low

Social Movements are a valuable lens to explore the history of the United States. This course explores the history of the American Indian Red Power Movement from its emergence in the 1960’s to its legacies in contemporary times. Lectures and class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speaker/s. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to, and gain appreciation for, Native American Indian political and social activism from the 1960’s to the present. This course is open to motivated freshman.

Courses offered winter, 2012

History 300/34      John N. Low JD, Ph.D.

American Indian History – 1763 to Present   

T/TH 12:30 – 1:50 – University Hall 101   


Course Description  

 

There are currently more than 560 federally recognized American Indian Nations with which the United States maintains government to government relations based upon a sovereign status which is both inherent (i.e., pre-dates the coming of Europeans to this hemisphere) and law/treaty based. This course explores the legal, cultural, historic, political foundations, experiences, perspectives, and futures of American Indians in the U.S. An introduction to American Indian history requires a holistic and interdisciplinary approach, and draws together materials from a variety of sources. We will broadly examine the varied experiences of American Indian peoples from 1763 to the present, and approach this study with the understanding that American Indians were active participants in history and not hapless victims of Euro-American imperialism. Over the next ten weeks, we will focus on the ways indigenous peoples in the United States acted and responded to the host of stresses that accompanied the rapid and often violent social, cultural, and environmental transformations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will pay particular attention to the ways Indians adapted to meet the challenges they confronted as they persisted in their efforts to preserve their homelands, their cultures, their sovereignty, and their rights to self-determination. American Indian history since 1763 is essential to understanding American history. Some of the goals of this course are to broaden your knowledge of American Indian peoples and the ways in which their lives are embedded in, and inseparable from their geographic, historic spiritual, cultural, and social surroundings. Through the course, students will be exposed to, and gain an appreciation for, Native American Indian communities, cultures, histories, perspectives, experiences, lives and contemporary issues.

Courses offered fall, 2011

American Studies 310-21  John Low

American Indians in Film

M 2-5/University Hall 018 

This course examines American Indians in film over the last century. We will view movies by, and/or about, Indians followed by discussions. Themes include issues of multiculturalism, stereotypes and ethnic identification, social justice, Indigenous feminism, sexual orientation, racism, genocide, land tenure and environmental degradation. The course is interdisciplinary and will incorporate history, sociology, ethics, religion, literature, geography, mythology, folklore and anthropology as these fields relate to the films. Some of the goals of this course are to broaden knowledge of American Indian peoples and the ways in which their lives are embedded in and inseparable from geographical, historical, spiritual, cultural, and social environments. Another goal is to expose students to the ways in which film has been both oppressive and liberating for Native peoples. Through the course, students will be exposed to, and gain an appreciation for, Native American Indian communities, cultures, histories, perspectives, experiences, lives and contemporary issues. This course is open to motivated freshman.

Legal Studies 376    John Low

Federal Indian Law – Land, Law and American Indians

M/W 11am-12:20pm - 555 Clark – Basement 03   

American Indian legal history of the last 236 years includes an ongoing struggle by the Federal government to impose upon the Indigenous peoples of the United States a variety of non-Native ideologies and policies designed to separate the latter from their lands. In this course we will explore highlights of that history and the resistances to that imposition. Topics will include the articulations of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the nature of Indian land ownership, first presented in 1823; the forced movement of Indians onto reservations and subsequent allotment of those lands; the impact of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934) on tribes and sovereignty over their remaining lands; treaties, land cessions, and the treaty rights movement that gathered momentum in the 1970’s and continues to this day; and passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978 and the (lack of) protection of sacred places for American Indians. As a special focus, we will spend one week examining the case of the Pokagon Potawatomi Indians, who in 1914 sued the City of Chicago and others for possession of the Chicago lakefront and took their claim to the United States Supreme Court. This course is open to motivated freshman.

 

Psychology 332    Doug Medin

Native Americans & Environmental Decision Making

The focus of this course will be on the relationship peoples have with nature, with a particular focus on Native Americans and the environment. The course will also focus on stereotypes, such as that of the “ecological Indian.” Did the colonial powers find a pristine environment when they arrived in America? Did Native Americans have a special spiritual connection with nature? Do Native Americans today also have this same spiritual connection?

Religion  261-0   Sarah Taylor    

American Religion, Ecology and Culture

This course will explore contemporary currents in religion and ecology, focusing on how the rise of environmentalism in American culture and the increasing give-and-take between ecological awareness and spiritual experience have become powerful forces in shaping the religious landscape. Particular attention will be paid to "greening" trends within religious institutions in light of tensions between philosophies of anthropocentrism and biocentrism, stewardship and deep ecology, bioregionalism and globalism. We will also examine the spiritual dimensions of ecofeminism, eco-kosher foodways, back-to-the-land movements, sacred agriculture, voluntary simplicity, and ecopsychology. Finally, we will analyze contemporary "ecotopian" and "eco-apocalyptic" visions for what broader insight they may afford us into American religion and culture. This course also counts toward the Environmental Policy and Culture minor at Northwestern.

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Previous sponsored presentations:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - Winona LaDuke

Building a Green Economy:Indigenous Strategies for a Sustainable Future 

Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally renowned activist working on sustainable development,climate change & environmental justice in Native America. 

Sponsored by: American Indian Center of Chicago
Northwestern University: Program in Cognitive Studies of the Environment;
Program in Environmental Policy and Culture; Dean’s Office, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Friday, April 23, 2010 - Stephanie A. Fryberg

“From Stereotyping to Invisibility:

The Psychological Consequences of using American Indian Mascots”

University of Arizona Assistant Professor in Psychology and

Affiliate Faculty in American Indian Studies

Sponsored by Northwestern University American Indian Studies Committee

American Indian Center of Chicago.

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Courses offered in recent years

Watch for these classes in future quarters:

AF AM ST 214-0 Comparative Race Studies in the United States Problems and experiences of racialized minorities: blacks, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans. Comparative exploration of their relationships to each other and to the majority society. May be repeated for credit with change of comparative racial groups or time period explored.

 

ANTHRO 311-0 The Indians of North America Aboriginal cultures of northern Mexico, continental United States, Alaska, and Canada. Languages, art, and social, economic, and religious life.

 

ART HIST 228-0 Introduction to Pre-Columbian Art Introduction to pre-Columbian and Native American art and architecture, from tribal societies, such as the Iroquois, Mandan, and Kwakiutl, to complex states, such as the Aztec, Maya, and Inca.

Courses offered fall, 2010

Religion 260-0   Sarah Taylor

Introduction to Native American Religions

Diversity and common elements of Native American religious traditions; comparative study of myth, ritual, spiritual philosophy, and practice.

Courses offered spring, 2010

Psychology 394  Megan Bang

Professional Linkage Seminar:

Culture and Education: The Challenges and Opportunities in American Indian Education

Tuesday - Thursday 11:00-12:20 Swift Hall room 231

Weinberg College Professional Linkage Seminars allow students to explore links between the academic programs of the College and issues and practice in the outside world. Students will have the opportunity this spring to take a Professional Linkage Seminar with Dr. Megan Bang, the Director of Education for the American Indian Center in Chicago. Dr. Bang earned her PhD from Northwestern and studies cross-cultural differences in thinking and learning, with a focus on American Indian cultures. The course is designed to develop a historically informed perspective on contemporary challenges and opportunities in Indian education. First students will be oriented to contemporary Native America to ensure that they are working from contemporary perspectives and realities.  Students will consider the fundamental roles and purposes of education as they relate to American Indian societies and to the broader U.S. They will then examine how these roles and purposes have changed over the course of American history.  Students will explore the impacts and implications of this history in order to turn towards contemporary challenges in American Indian education. The course will ground students’ grappling with these challenges in three main dimensions: Native intellectual traditions, language, and educational infrastructure. As part of the course requirements, students will explore a current educational effort underway in a Native community.

 

Enrollment in this course is limited to 15 students. It can count as a 300-level course for the major or minor in psychology.

English 105-6 Freshman Seminar   James O'Laughlin

Storytelling and Nation-Making in American Indian and Irish Literature
Tuesday - Thursday 2:00-3:20  University Library 3322

In this seminar, we’ll compare and contrast how two very different groups of writers in the twentieth century—in North America, and in Ireland—confront the effects of colonial rule and respond to stories of “the nation” that marginalize them and their history.  We will explore how these writers think beyond marginalization and express alternative ideas about national identity, and we will examine the role of storytelling in the struggle with national myths in everyday life.

Anthropology 327-0 20  Elizabeth Brumfiel

Archaeology of Ethnicity in America

Tuesday - Thursday 2:00-3:20 Kresge Centennial Hall room 2435

This course explores the history of different ethnic groups in America through the study of their
material remains: living quarters, burials, food remains, tools, jewelry, etc. We also examine how
ethnic groups have been portrayed or ignored in museum displays that claim to depict the American past. Groups studied include Native Americans, African-American, and Chinese-Americans. Class projects include the study of artifacts and ethnic groups in the city of Evanston. This is a good class for students considering careers in anthropology, archaeology, museum studies, education, and history.

Courses offered fall, 2009

Religion  261-0   Sarah Taylor    

American Religion, Ecology and Culture

This course will explore contemporary currents in religion and ecology, focusing on how the rise of environmentalism in American culture and the increasing give-and-take between ecological awareness and spiritual experience have become powerful forces in shaping the religious landscape. Particular attention will be paid to "greening" trends within religious institutions in light of tensions between philosophies of anthropocentrism and biocentrism, stewardship and deep ecology, bioregionalism and globalism. We will also examine the spiritual dimensions of ecofeminism, eco-kosher foodways, back-to-the-land movements, sacred agriculture, voluntary simplicity, and ecopsychology. Finally, we will analyze contemporary "ecotopian" and "eco-apocalyptic" visions for what broader insight they may afford us into American religion and culture. This course also counts toward the Environmental Policy and Culture minor at Northwestern.

Psychology  314-0  Doug Medin

Special Topics in Psychology:

Native American Culture and Environmental Decision Making

The focus of this class will be on the relationship peoples have with nature, with a particular focus on Native Americans and the environment. The course will also focus on stereotypes, such as that of the “ecological Indian.” Did the colonial powers find a pristine environment when they arrived in America? Did Native Americans have a special spiritual connection with nature? Do Native Americans today also have this same spiritual connection?

 

 

 

 

updated - 10-8-14

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