What was life like for the ancient Maya people who inhabited what is now Central America? This course examines one of the best-known pre-Columbian civilizations in the New World: Ancient Maya civilization. The course will focus on the achievements of the ancient Maya - one of the most advanced civilizations in history - prior to the Spanish conquest in ca. 1500 AD. We will look at archaeology - from temples, cities, and hieroglyphic writing to farmers' homes and fields - to explore ancient Maya daily lives.
The course will begin with the words of the ancient Maya. We will read excerpts from the Popol Vuh, the Sacred Book of the Quich? Maya. We will then study and learn to decipher in a rudimentary fashion, the ancient Maya hieroglyphs, to gain insight into Maya beliefs, religion, and worldview. The course will then turn to archaeology's material record of buildings, temples, and artifacts to learn about aspects of ancient Maya life that were not written down and types of people, like everyday people, not recorded in written texts. Major topics will include the rise of ancient Maya civilization and the ancient Maya social, economic, and political systems, subsistence, and religion. The course concludes with an in- depth study of daily life in the ancient Maya world. We will explore what it was like to be a Maya farmer living in the small Maya farming community of Chan in Belize, and discover the lessons of sustainable lifestyles that we can learn from ancient Maya farmers.
ENVR-POL 390 Land, Identity, and the Sacred: Native American Sacred Site Protection and Religious Rights
This class takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine Native American religion and philosophy which involves the intersections of anthropology, religious studies, cultural resource management and preservation, land management, and ethno-ecology. We will focus on Native American sacred sites and cultural landscapes and their relationship to land, ceremony, history, and identity. Central to the class will be a focus on the sacred aspects of tribal identity and the role that landscape plays in the creation and maintenance of these identities. The class will focus on specific regions and Native American communities and how the Sacred manifests within these communities and is enacted through ecological and economic relationships, cultural maintenance and preservation, language and philosophy, and land management principles. The course includes lectures and discussions based off of class readings.
GBL_HLTH 390-21 Special Topics in Global Health: 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.
GBL-HLTH 390-0-24-01 Special Topics in Global Health: 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. Important concepts to guide our understanding of these issues will include settler colonialism, colonialism, sovereignty, social determinants of health, asset-based perspectives, and decolonizing research. 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, sociology, history, and medicine. This course does not focus on nor teach traditional Native medicine or philosophies as those are not appropriate in this predominately non-Native environment.
Hist 300 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.