Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS)

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Spring 1-2. 2021

Course Title: “Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies”
Duration: 12 Weeks
Course: Spring 1 and 2 of 2022
Dates: Jan 14-April 15 (with break Feb 19-March 6)
Time: Fridays 3:00pm-4:45pm

Course Description:
As the Native American and Global Indigenous Studies (NAGIS) program at the University of Miami is still in its preliminary phases of creation, this course will bring OLLI ‘into the loop’ so to speak by providing students with an introductory grasp on major concepts, theoretical highlights, and important figures and histories of Native American and Indigenous Studies, also known as American Indian Studies or First Nations Studies. The discipline began after Native student-activists of the late 1960s demanded their universities represent their histories as well as the dominant white histories that had already been part of the educational ‘canon.’ In this course, we will attend to the building of the interdisciplinary field known as Native American and Indigenous Studies with special attention to the Americas, what Amerindians called Turtle Island or Abya Yala. Each week, we will deal with a keyword in Native Studies and then discuss the histories, politics, and disciplinary concerns with the keyword.

Suggested purchases:

  • Native Studies Keywords, ed. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2015).
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz (2015 American Book Award Winner) (2014)

Schedule

(readings are meant to be done before the class during which they will be discussed)

Jan 14 – Keywords: Indigeneity/Indigenous, Native

Reading:

Jan 21 – Keyword: Land 

Reading:

  • Native Studies Keywords, ed. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja – section titled “Land” pp 59-108 (emphasis on pp. 59-70)
  • Inventing the Indian (2012): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmP3gGj9yjM 
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2015 American Book Award Winner) [I have found the PDF of the Dunbar-Ortiz book, so if you are okay reading the text digitally, I’ve included it attached to this email.]
    • “Introduction: This Land” pp. 1-14
    • “Culture of Conquest” pp. 32-42

Jan 28 – Keyword: Sovereignty 

Reading:

Feb 4 – Keywords: Nation, nationhood

Reading:

  • Native Studies Keywords pp 157-198
  • “Boujee Natives” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSn1C_pLpoQ
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2015 American Book Award Winner), “Ghost Dance Prophecy: A Nation is Coming” pp. 178-197

Feb 11 – Keywords: blood, tradition

Reading:

  • Native Studies Keywords section on “Tradition” and section on “Blood”
  • ep. 1-3, Reservation Dogs (FX on Hulu)

Feb 18 – Keywords: colonialism, decolonization

Reading:

  • Native Studies Keywords section on Colonialism (pp 271-308)
  • ep. 4-5, Reservation Dogs (FX on Hulu)

Spring Break: February 19-March 6

March 11 – Keyword: Survivance

Reading:

  • Introduction of Native Liberty: Natural Reason and Cultural Survivance by Gerald Vizenor
  • “The War Cry of the Trickster: The Concept of Survivance in Gerald Vizenor’s Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point” by Alan Velie
  • “Ghosts in the Gap: Diane Glancy’s Paradoxes of Survivance” by James Mackay
  • “The Naked Spot: A Journey toward Survivance” by Diane Glancy

March 18 – Keyword: Knowledge

Reading:

  • Native Studies Keywords pp. 309-346 (section titled ‘Indigenous Epistemologies/Knowledges’)
  • “Land as Pedagogy” (chapter 9) from As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

March 25 – Keywords: Literature, Art 

Reading:

  • Selections from When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020) ed. Joy Harjo with Leanne Howe, Jennifer Elise Foerster, and Contributing Editors
  • Two essays from Native American Performance and Representation (2009) ed. S.E. Wilmer
  • “Indigenous Futurisms in North American Indigenous Art” by Kristina Baudemann

April 1 – Keywords: Queer, 2-Spirit or, previously (derogatory), berdache

Reading:

  • “Womanish Men and Manlike Women: The Native American Two-Spirit as Warrior” by Roger M. Carpenter
  • “Women, Labor, and Power in the Nineteenth Century Choctaw Nation” by Fay A. Yarbrough
  • “Revisiting Gender in Iroquoia” by Jan V. Noel
  • Introduction & Ch. 2 from Spaces between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization (2011) by Scott Lauria Morgensen

April 8 – Keyword: Resistance

Reading:

  • Chapters 10-12 & Conclusion of As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
  • Watch “The Ghost Dance Religion: Nanissáanah – Wovoka the Prophet” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdCUv5LWML4
  • Ch 5 of Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century by Gregory E. Smoak

April 15 – Keyword: Race 

Reading:

  • Chapter 6, “Measuring Identity” from Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation by Malinda Maynor Lowery
  • Chapter 3, “Conceptualizing and Constructing African Indian Racial and Cultural Identities in Antebellum Indian Territory” in African Cherokees in Indian Territory: From Chattel to Citizens by Celia E. Naylor
  • Introduction of Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism edited by by Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, and Andrea Smith
  • “Building Maroon Intellectual Communities” by Chris Finley (also in Otherwise Worlds)
  • Introduction of The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies by Tiffany Lethabo King