AASP 303 / AFAM 480 Black Studies, Native Studies, and Asian Settler Colonialism
This course examines the conversations between within and across Ethnic Studies and Native American and Indigenous Studies. What are the central paradigms of Black Studies, Native Studies, and Asian American Studies and how do they conceptualize relationships among race, indigeneity, diaspora, immigration, and White supremacy, and settler colonialism? Beginning with recent books that theorize Black and Indigenous people, we draw into this conversation theories of Asian settler colonialism from the Pacific that disrupt binarisms of White/Black; settler/native; Black/Indigenous. What methods do these texts prioritize? What are their central questions? And how can we draw from research to better illuminate shared politics of liberation?
What do we know today about the ancient Maya who inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America before the 16th century? In this course you will get a general understanding of ancient Maya civilization and the ways archaeologists, linguists, historians, and indigenous communities have examined the Maya past. Through weekly readings and discussions, we will focus on material remains -including temples, carved monuments, exotic items, and farmers' houses and tools- to learn about ancient Maya lives. Major themes will include ancient Maya cosmology, literature, cities, resilience, and sustainability. This course is an introductory-level seminar and requires no prior knowledge about the Maya history, archaeology, or the Yucatan Peninsula. By the end of the course, you will be familiar with the major developments, key players, and ongoing issues in Maya archaeology.
ENVR-POL 390-0-23 Land, Identity, and the Sacred: Native American Sacred Site Protection and Religious Rights
This class involves the intersection of religion, cultural preservation, ethnoecology, and law. We will focus on Native American concepts of the sacred, language, and how they create relationships to land, ceremony, history, and tribal/ethnic 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.
JOUR 367 Native American Environmental Issues and the Media
This course introduces you 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 with a particular emphasis on the First Nations in the Great Lakes region. In addition, it will also provide connections to corresponding international Indigenous environmental issues, and the responses and debates across science research, news and international policy contexts. The seminar focuses on how the media cover Native American environmental issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. The seminar provides the critical tools to analyze current environmental struggles; to understand the controversies within a cultural context; and to make informed decisions about issues that affect us all. The central case study of the seminar will be water and fishing rights for Indigenous Peoples, and how they are part of larger land rights issues. Over the past two decades the issue of tribal sovereignty has become front-page news. From major confrontations over pipelines affecting Tribal Reservations mobilizing Indigenous people and their allies around the world, to battles over whaling rights and mining of tar sands, to sulfide mining adjacent to Tribal Reservations, to disputed land claims in the Northeast and battles in the West over water, fracking, and grazing, the rights of Native governments to exercise their sovereignty remains in the new century at the cultural, political, and legal core of American contemporary history. These and many more issues—air and water quality standards, treaty rights, and land-into-trust—have contributed to tension between Native and non-Native communities, and have become the subject of news reports, in both mainstream and tribal media. The goals of this seminar are to understand how tribal sovereignty and treaty rights inform contemporary environmental issues; to identify source selection, bias, and framing in mainstream and tribal media accounts; to analyze and critique mainstream and tribal media accounts for accuracy and bias; and finally gain intercultural knowledge and competence through a final project that explores the intersection of Native environmental issues and the media.