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Course Descriptions

Anth 211 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

course decription TBD

Eng 374 – Studies in Native American Literature: Native Chicago

The 2018 publication of Tommy Orange’s award-winning novel There There led some commentators to remark that the novel opened a new chapter in Native American literary history by taking place in a city rather than on a reservation. The novel shows that cities are not non-Native spaces but Native homelands that carry and contain kinship relations and histories. But literatures by Native people in cities are hardly a new phenomenon, as Native people have been engaging with and creating urbanity at least since the metropolitan cities known as Cahokia (near St. Louis), Etowah (in Georgia), Etzanoa (near Witchita, KS) and Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).  This course focuses on Native American literatures from and about Chicago in order to examine how Native literature and art create, influence, and engage cities as Indigenous homelands.  We’ll examine how Native writers used autobiographies, short stories, plays, poems, pamphlets, and scrapbooks to grapple with the questions raised by colonization, and we’ll read these texts alongside Native American and Indigenous Studies scholarship that will help us to examine how Native writers “remap” Chicago within Indigenous literary and artistic histories.

GBL_HLTH 301 – Introduction to International Public Health


GBL_HLTH 320-1 – Qualitative Research Methods in Global Health

This reading intensive course will provide a theoretical foundation and the skills central to qualitative methods for public health research. We will focus on developing and conducting focus groups and individual interviews. Course assignments will provide the opportunity to exercise these skills and those necessary to developing a research proposal, ethnographic field notes, and data collection tools. Further, students will learn the benefits and challenges associated with transcribing, managing, coding, analyzing, and presenting qualitative data. Central to this course is the ethical and methodological issues related to creating qualitative data with people through their stories.

GBL_HLTH 390 – Native American Health Research and Prevention

Native nations in what is currently the United States are continuously seeking to understanding and undertake the best approaches to research and prevention with their communities. This course introduces students to the benefits and barriers to various approaches to addressing negative health outcomes and harnessing positive social determinants of health influencing broader health status. Students will engage in a reading-intensive, discussion-based seminar, drawing upon research and scholarship from a variety of disciplines including public health, Native American and Indigenous Studies, anthropology, sociology, history, nursing, and medicine.

GBL_HLTH 390- – Native Nations, Healthcare Systems, and U.S. Policy

This reading-intensive, discussion-based seminar course will provide students with a complex and in-depth understanding of the historical and contemporary policies and systems created for and by Native Americans. Further, to ensure students gain an understanding of current health care systems and policies, alongside their broader understanding of global health. Specifically, to highlight the need to include Native American priorities, successes, and ongoing challenges within discussions of health care policy domestically and globally. Students will begin to understand not only the complexity, but the necessity of systems specifically created for the needs and utility of Native American populations.

GBL_HLTH 390-21 – Community Based Participatory Research

Oftentimes we hear of research done on communities. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a research paradigm that challenge researchers to conducted research with communities. In this reading intense discussion-based course, we will learn the historical and theoretical foundations, and the key principles of CBPR. Students will be introduced to methodological approaches to building community partnerships, research planning, and data sharing. Real-world applications of CBPR in health will be studied to illustrate the benefits and challenges. Further, this course will address culturally appropriate interventions, working with diverse communities, and ethical considerations in CBPR.

Hist 300-0-22 – Development of American Indian Law and Policy

In this course, we will conceptualize Native peoples as nations, not merely racial/ethnic minorities. Students will learn about the unique legal landscape in Indian Country by charting the historical development of tribal governments and the ever-changing body of U.S. law and policy that regulates Indian affairs. We begin by studying Indigenous legal traditions, the European doctrine of discovery, and diplomatic relations between Native nations and European empires. We then shift our focus to treaty-making, the constitutional foundations of federal Indian law, 19th century U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and the growth of the federal bureaucracy in Indian Country. The course devotes considerable attention to the expansion of tribal governmental authority during the 20th century, the contemporary relationship between Indian tribes and the federal/state governments, and the role of federal Indian law as both a tool of U.S. colonial domination and a mechanism for protecting the interests of Indigenous communities.

Hist 300-0-22 – Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the U.S. and Canada, 1887-Present

In 2016, thousands of Indigenous water protectors and their non-Native allies camped at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in an effort to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. That movement is part of a long history of Native activism. In this course, we will examine the individual and collective ways in which Indigenous people have resisted colonial domination in the U.S. and Canada since 1887. In addition to focusing on North America, we will also turn our attention to Hawai‘i and the U.S. territories. This course will highlight religious movements, intertribal organizations, key intellectual figures, student movements, armed standoffs, non-violent protest, and a variety of visions for Indigenous community self-determination.

Jour 367 – Native American Environmental Issues and the Media

This course introduces students to Native American environmental issues, such as treaty-based hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; air and water quality issues; mining; land-to-trust issues; and sacred sites. We focus on how the media cover these issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. Students read and analyze newspaper and on-line news reports and view broadcast news stories and documentaries about Native environmental issues. We pay particular attention to tribal sovereignty, which often is at the cultural, political, and legal core of these disputes.

ANTH 101-6-21 – First-Year Seminar: Natives Beyond Nations

No description available.

Courses Primarily for Graduate Students

Anth 490 – Materialities

In recent years, there has been a tremendous burst of theoretical and philosophical work loosely grouped together as “New Materialisms” or ‘the ontological turn”.  After decades of focusing on the text, scholars in a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, history, literature, and religious studies, have suddenly discovered things.  In this course, we will explore some of the New Materialist and ontological theoretical literature, with a focus on how these ideas have been put into practice by ethnographers and archaeologists.  Students will be encouraged to use insights from this literature to develop their own research practices. 

Hist 300-0-22 – Global Indigenous Histories

[course description TBD]

HIST 492 – Global Indigenous Histories (HIST 492 / ANTHRO 490)

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) following decades of negotiation. In this graduate seminar, we will examine the 20th century origins of the global movement for Indigenous rights and seek an understanding of the varied meanings of Indigeneity (along with Aboriginality and Autochthony) across time and space. We will emphasize the comparative study of Indigenous-state relations and highlight how the concept of Indigenous is a shorthand for peoples who are variously identified as original, first, tribal, local, and traditional, in addition to their own names for themselves. Our readings will draw from scholarship in history, anthropology, and Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), spanning geographies from Hawai'i to the Russian Arctic to Cameroon.