Course Offerings

Spring 2023 NAIS Course Offerings 

AFRI 0130 Section S01 This is America: Reimagining the American Saga 

Mack Scott, M 3-5:30 pm 

History offers us a framework to appraise the forces and conditions that have formed people’s shared experiences. Because of this, the histories we tell are often explanatory. They delineate how we arrived at this moment and tell us which people and what events were most consequential. But what happens when the people who look like you are not part of the story? Or if their inclusion amounts to cameos in support of a larger narrative that ultimately minimizes or ignores their contributions? This course reimagines American history by placing in the foreground the people and events often marginalized or forgotten in traditional appraisals of the past. Through a review of historical sources, literature, oral histories, and evidence found in popular culture, this class offers a more inclusive retelling of the American saga.

ANTH 1505 Section S01 Vertical Civilization: South American Archaeology from Monte Verde to the Inkas

Parker VanValkenburgh, TTh 10:30-11:50 am 

This course offers an introduction to the archaeology of indigenous South American Civilizations, from the peopling of the continent around 13,000 years ago, to the Spanish Invasion of the 16th Century C.E. Throughout, we seek to understand the often unique solutions that South American Indigenous peoples developed to deal with risk and to make sense of the world around them. Course lectures and discussions focus on recent research and major debates. Weekly sections draw on viewings of artifacts and manuscripts from the Haffenreffer Museum and the John Carter Brown Library.

ANTH 1621 Section S01 Material Culture Practicum Spring 2023 

Patricia E Rubertone, W 3-5:30 pm

The course explores the ways that archaeologists think about and interpret material culture and provides an opportunity to study the artifacts of everyday life found at historical archaeological sites in the Atlantic World firsthand. Focusing on an assemblage from a site that was a place of intercultural trade, conflict, and enslavement, students will learn how material evidence reveals the entanglements of Indigenous, European, and African people.

ANTH 1840 Section S01/CLPS 1391/HMAN 1400C Indigenous Languages of the Americas: An Introduction

Paja L Faudree & Scott H AnderBois, TTh 2:30-3:50 pm

This course introduces students to the past and present of Indigenous languages of the Americas. A collaboration between faculty from Linguistics and Linguistic Anthropology, the course synthesizes both fields with Indigenous studies and other disciplines. It examine how the distinct grammatical properties of these languages intersect with various aspects of their social contexts -- from the politics surrounding their use to their presence in popular culture – and grapples with the complex current realities of these languages in the lives of the Indigenous people who speak them and others whose investments span diverse interests.

ANTH 1901 Section S01 Anthropology in/of the Museum

Christina Hodge, F 3-5:30 pm

This course provides an introduction to museums from an anthropological perspective. Topics include politics of representation and the construction of the “Other”; objects, identity, and meaning; collecting and cultural property; and collaboration, community engagement, and indigenous self-representation. Assignments involve work with the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology’s exhibitions and collections. The course focuses on museums dedicated to natural and cultural history, but establishes theoretical and practical grounding for thinking about and working in other disciplines and other kinds of display institutions. It is suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students. There are no prerequisites, but familiarity with anthropology is presumed.

ARTS 1005/TAPS 1005A New Forms of Theater: Traditional Storytelling to Storyweaving

Murielle Borst-Tarrant, MW 4:30-5:50 pm

This course examines Native American theatre from origins of traditional storytelling to politics of race involved in Native theatre today and is best suited for students exploring how to become theatre makers. First, we examine traditional storytelling from creation stories in literature and theatre. Second, we study interactions with Europeans with the Doctrine of Discovery, Native American boarding schools systems, outlawing of traditional culture and how Native culture survived in these systems in wild west shows, sideshows and snake oil shows. Topics will be explored through a Native lens via movies, commercials, television and will examine the theatre movement that responded. Finally, students will directly engage with course content through weekly embodied practice. The weekly course structure will include one class meeting focused on seminar/lecture/discussion, with the second meeting focused on writing and movement based in Spiderwoman methodology.

COLT 1310 R From “Wild Beast” to “True Born Prince”: Native Resistance in Native and Anglo-American
Literary Perspectives 

Nicholas Kahn, TTh 2:30-3:50 pm

This is partly a comparative class about Eastern Algonquian and European historiographic and literary narrative forms, and partly a real-world digital archive project, on which we'll collaborate with the Tomaquag Museum and tribal leaders at the Narragansett Tribe. We'll be beginning a digital edition, for eventual publication, of a historic Narragansett tribal periodical, The Narragansett Dawn, which was published in 1935–'36. This archive will be preserved and published either through a tribal website or Brown's Digital Repository.

ENVS 0705 Section S01 Equity and the Environment: Movements, Scholarship, Solutions

Myles Lennon, TTh 2:30-3:50 pm

The environmental justice movement emerged in the U.S. South from the observation that African-Americans were more exposed to toxics than whites. It spurred decades of academic and activist efforts to understand and address the relationship between inequality and environment. The issue has expanded around the world, and beyond unequal exposures to “bads,” to unequal access to “goods,” along lines of equity by race, class, gender, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, and position in the global economy. Issues of assigning responsibility and applying theories of justice with legal instruments have made environmental justice policy difficult. This course seeks to serve first-years and sophomores.

ETHN 1751F Section S01 Race in U.S. Cities and Suburbs

Shelley Lee, TTh 1-2:20 pm 

This undergraduate seminar explores U.S. urban and suburban histories during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, through the concerns of race and ethnicity. We seek to understand how dilemmas over and struggles for belonging and equality in the United States have played out in and over urban and suburban spaces. We will pay particular attention to the histories of segregation, housing discrimination, urban unrest, suburban integration, the rise of “ethnoburbs,” and gentrification. Readings represent foundational texts and new directions in scholarship and provide in-depth examinations of particular urban and suburban communities. Topics include the simultaneous erasure and appropriation of Indigenous peoples in the development of Pacific Northwest cities; the Asian American “model minority” and integration of all-white suburbs; minority grassroots activism and resistance against redevelopment; racism and neoliberal urban governance in the 21st century.

GNSS 1620 Indigenous Feminisms: Environmental Justice and Resistance

Rebecca H. Hogue, W 3-5:30pm

This course will introduce key concepts, methodologies, and arts from Indigenous feminist perspectives on environmental justice. To do this, we will examine five 21st century Indigenous environmental justice case studies from North America and Oceania: Idle No More, Mauna Kea, Sogorea Te’, Standing Rock, and the Pacific Climate Warriors. Together we will explore critical theorizations that attend to a range of contemporary issues influencing Indigenous feminist thought today: land, water, and ecology; ceremony and genealogy; healing and care work; science and medicine; reparations and justice.

GNSS 1961Y Section S01 Gaps and Silences: In and Out of the Archives

Marianna Hovhannisyan, Th 4-6:30 pm

This research seminar examines archives and considers how classification systems are central in addressing knowledge gaps, gendered and racialized silences created by colonialism, slavery, wars, and displacement. We will engage with archival theories informed by Black, Indigenous, and Asian American studies, feminist and postcolonial theories, and visual studies. What is archival metadata and what role does it play in historical research? How might we imagine new links between descriptive information, records, affect, and embodied knowledge found in and out of archives? Our discussions will be guided by concepts including “critical fabulation” (Hartman), “queering archives” (Arondekar), “imagining the impossible,” (Gilliland & Caswell), and “silences and silencing” (Trouillot). For the final assignment, students will create their own digital archival project. It will be based on their research interests and direct engagement with the Pembroke Center Archives focused on women and feminist theory.

HIAA 1625 Section S01 Native American Architecture 

Eric Johnson, T 4-6:30 pm

Academic disciplines that discuss Native American pasts (such as archaeology, anthropology, and history) have historically characterized Indigenous peoples of North America by what they supposedly “lack.” Architectural history is no exception. Despite a deep continental history of Native American constructions—whether monumental earthen mounds or effigies, village complexes, roads, or megaliths—Native architecture is often ignored in histories of architecture. Combining archaeological, ethnographic, archival, and oral-historical sources, this course exposes the erasure of Native Americans from architectural history and celebrates the diversity and complexity of Indigenous built environments. We first examine how different academic disciplines have historically studied (and sometimes erased) Native American architecture. Then we will survey Indigenous architecture before settler colonialism. We end the course studying the violence of and resistance to colonialism in North America and how contemporary Indigenous architectural traditions have been shaped in response.

HISP 1331E Section S01/LACA 1331E Visions and Voices of Indigenous Mexico 

Iris Montero, TTh 10:30-11:50 am 

“In Mexico we are all mixed” goes a popular dictum, placing mestizaje at the core of what it means to be Mexican. One fifth of the population, however, self identifies as Indigenous (pueblos originarios), and keeps experiencing various forms of discrimination for not abiding by the dominant national discourse. HISP 1331E explores three pilars of indigenous identity –land’s gifts, material culture and language– to inquire how indigeneity has been deployed and reclaimed by indigenous groups through time. Materials include pre-Hispanic and Colonial codices, murals and objects, and present day literary works, music and cinema, with one hour of Nahuatl basics per week. Prerequisites: HISP 0650 or minimum score of 5 in 'AP Spanish Literature.'

HIST 1382 Section S01 The Environmental History of Latin America

Gabriel Rocha, MWF 10-10:50 am

This course offers students an introduction to environmental history from perspectives that center the societies and ecologies of Latin America and the Caribbean. Thinking across different chronologies and spaces, we will draw from a range of historical and interdisciplinary scholarship, as well as primary sources, to examine changing relationships between Latin American environments and their attendant social, cultural, political, urban, agrarian, maritime, legal and economic histories. Our collective explorations on these topics will adopt various scales of analysis, from local and regional to continental, and will push us to approach key themes of Precolonial, Colonial, and Modern Latin American historiography from an environmental lens, including: Indigenous histories; colonialism, extractivism, and slavery; Afro-Latinx histories; capitalism and dependency theory; the politics of modern conservation.

HIST 1533 Section S01 Cities and Inequality Since 1920: The United States 

Robert O Self, MWF 12-12:50 pm 

This lecture course takes up the relationship between cities and social and economic inequality—especially racial, but also other forms of social disadvantage along lines of class, gender, sexuality, indigeneity, and geography. Its focus is the urban history of American cities, suburbs, and towns and how urban development since the advent of the motor-car suburb in the 1920s shaped American social life. Students will learn about and explore topics such as zoning, racial redlining and other forms of segregation, real estate markets, the home building industry, urban public policy and law, urban leisure, transportation, and many others. At the center of the course is the question of how people live in dense connectivity and community and what the history of the modern American city can tell us about the nature and durability of social inequality.

HIST 1942A Section S01 Taiwan's Geographies

Rebecca A Nedostup, Th 4-6:30 pm

Asia’s orphan? Ilha Formosa? Yam, taro, or betel nut leaf? Why does Taiwan always seem to be approached by way of metaphor and metonym -- or else as a political conundrum? This course seeks to pry Taiwan away from the realm of the symbolic and the narrowly political, and argue for its historical significance as a complex site of overlapping geographies and geographic imaginations. These include Indigenous geographies; non-human geographies; human movement and migration in the Pacific, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Northeast Asia; successive eras of European and Asian colonization and empire; and twentieth century regional and global communities of politics, labor, affect, and more.

HMAN 1975V Section S01 Latin Radicals: Polemics by Spaniards and native authors in early colonial Mexico 

Andrew Laird, W 3-5:30 pm 

The seminar, rooted in an ongoing research project on Cristóbal Cabrera, the first poet in the Americas, has a broader compass, incorporating texts by Cabrera’s influential contemporaries and associates which contain inflammatory criticism of the conduct of the Spaniards in the Indies. The classes will also introduce writings by Indigenous Mexican rulers who took advantage of their humanist education to write Latin, challenging aspects of the colonial status quo and advancing the interests of their local communities.

HMAN 2401Q Section S01 Racial Ecologies

Jayna Brown Macarena Gomez-Barris, W 12-2:30 pm

This course explores the capitalist and consumer climate emergency by attending to local and planetary disasters to ask if this emergency is the inevitable outcome of the Western onto-epistemic regime. We center Black, Indigenous, and Global South creative modes of living, being, and doing. We define racial ecologies as constituted out of a global structure of colonial power that includes slavery, extraction, debt, settler colonialism, carcerality, and hierarchies of race/gender/sex. Yet, racial ecologies also de-link from this condition through collaborative and autonomous practices and through new/old imaginaries of survivance. Our approach to the collaborative humanities exceeds the logics of anthropocentric containment by focusing on radical, black feminist, and queer decolonial projects that destabilize dominant understandings of the human and non-human. Case studies, literary texts, visual arts, experience, installation, sound, media, and performance are important nodes of our discussion. In order to enroll in the course, please submit a registration request at https://forms.gle/pjZy49HN9wtbCWRZ7 by January 18, 2022. The course instructors will be in touch with you before the start of the semester. All requests will be reviewed at the same time.

IAPA 1403 Section S01 Development's Visual Imaginaries: Still and Moving Images That Shaped the Field

Geri M Augusto, T 4-6:30pm 

Using primarily paintings and films, this seminar explores the visual imaginaries created and circulated between 17th and early 20th centuries especially in the Americas but also in Europe, which came to underpin prominent mid- to late-19th century and early 20th-century development theories and resultant legislation and public policies in the United States, and which were deployed both internally and abroad. The course will argue that development policies domestically and abroad often drew from the same set of ideas and imaginaries about categories of humans, land, nature, work, gender, race, capacity for self-definition and political self-representation, and who should wield power.

LACA 1503Z Section S01 Neoliberalism and cross-border regions in Latin America and the Caribbean

Humberto Dilla Alfonso, M 3-5:30 pm

This course examines international borders from the perspectives of economic changes, social relationships, identities, human mobility, and politics. In Latin America, cross-border territories that span arbitrary lines have developed around elements that are crucial to understanding the region, including indigenous identities. This course offers students the opportunity to engage in a critical and interdisciplinary exploration of these socio-cultural phenomena using case studies. The course takes on an interdisciplinary approach, focusing mainly on the social sciences and humanities. It is based on a methodology that combines lectures and practical exercises in which students acquire knowledge through the analysis of visual media – photos, videos, maps – related to specific case studies. These exercises will be the main basis for student assessment.

LACA 1800D/POBS 1800D Into the Wilderness: An Ecocritical and Decolonial Approach to Imagining Brazil 

Leila M Lehnen, M 3-5:30pm

The first European accounts about what is now Brazil centralized nature in how this space was imagined. Nature appears prominently in Brazilian literature, song, visual arts, and film. More recently, nature has become a political pawn as agribusiness, mining, and extractivism threaten vast tracts of the Amazon Forest and the Cerrado. This course looks at how Brazilian cultural production has constructed nature. The course examines how social and political events, such as the rise of the Indigenous movement in the 1970s and this movement’s renewed intensification in recent years, have impacted how Brazilians and non-Brazilians think about the environment. In particular, we will examine the creative relation between decoloniality and nature through works by Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian authors, visual artists, filmmakers, and other cultural agents and activists. This course will be taught in Portuguese.

NAHU 0200 Section S01 Beginning Nahuatl II 

Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz, TTh 10am-12pm 

Once the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire, Nahuatl is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico and in North America as a whole, with 1.7 million speakers and 30 variants. As the vehicle of centuries-old knowledge transmitted orally, Nahuatl offers an entry point into the cultures and worldviews of various indigenous communities today, both in Mexico and its diaspora. This online course offers an introduction to Nahuatl (Huasteca variant) through an immersive methodology focused on developing your speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing, while fostering your cultural sensibility and competence.

NAHU 0400 Section S01 Nahuatl II

Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz, TTh 1-3pm

Nahuatl II or intermediate offers students the opportunity to learn new themes and cultural practices of the Nahua communities of Chicontepec after NAHU 0100, NAHU 0200 and NAHU 0300. The approach is geared towards developing communication skills at an intermediate level. These skills will also allow students to explore colonial documents written in classical Nahuatl. The teaching method employs a communicative and cultural approach designed to develop both language proficiency and cultural competence. This is achieved through activities related to specific functions, contexts, grammar, and vocabulary relevant to everyday life situations in an indigenous community. Sessions are highly participatory and interactive, and small group work is often used. The Nahuatl II course is mostly taught in Nahuatl, to encourage its use and practice in classes.POBS 1800D Section S01, CRN 26953 

NAIS/AMST 0100 Learning Our Native Languages

Nitana Hicks Greendeer, Th 4-6:30 pm

The purpose of this course is to support each other in learning Indigenous languages. The content of the course is differentiated to each student according to their needs. Our guiding questions are: How will you learn your language? What aspects of your language (reading, writing, listening, speaking, cultural context) will you focus on, and why? What resources will be most helpful to you, and what are the challenges of learning your language in particular? How will they benefit your academic study and professional trajectory? How will your language skills help you serve your community? 

The scholarly context of this course emerges from a need to address the legacies of destruction to Indigenous peoples. Given the history of cultural and linguistic genocide (via boarding schools, colonization, economic deprivation) we will center Native voices and ways of knowing in our methodology. This involves using community resources, oral histories, and Native scholars to lead a discussion on general topics that affect Natives, as well as providing a support network for independent study of choice heritage languages. Each student is responsible for their own language development, but our study is guided by greater principles such as relationship to their heritage language, indigenous epistemologies, land relations, music, and gender.

TAPS 1280W Section S01 Native American Indigenous Theatre Performance 

Sarah dAngelo, W 1-3:30 pm

This course investigates Native American Indigenous Theatre performance through the study of new contemporary plays. Diverse performance styles informed by Indigenous ways of being and knowing, language, land and identity distinguish Native American Indigenous Theatre performance from Euro-American styles. Inquiry beyond western theatrical understandings is required to center Indigenous narratives and to grasp the rich spectrum offered in the storytelling. Methods of community knowledge production will include guest artists, orality, place / object-making and embodiment to contextualize Indigenous values and their application to decolonize performance spaces, methods of working and theatre-making. All are welcome!

LITR 1152H Section S01 Writing from the Archives/In the Subjunctive Mood 

Erica Hunt, T 4-6:30 pm

Memory, history, and trace haunt the present, perception, and the cultural contexts in which we live. When we turn to the archival record, we note its focus on the powerful, and its critical exclusion of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGTBQ people, people with disabilities, and “wild” women. A growing number of writers employ new means to open the lens to render the present more clearly through counter-narrative, critical fabulation, and reparative technique. We will read and write in this vein toward a new poetics of archive and study methods that give attention to the “unrecorded” incident, emotion, image, and music.

Fall 2022 NAIS Course Offerings

ANTH 1624 Indians, Colonists, and Africans in New England

Patricia E Rubertone, TTh 10:30am-11:50am

The course explores the colonial and capitalist transformation of New England's social and cultural landscapes following European contact. Using archaeology as critical evidence, we will examine claims about conquest, Indian Extinction, and class, gender and race relations by studying the daily lives and interactions of the area's diverse Native American, African American, and European peoples.

CLPS 1390 Linguistic Field Methods

Scott AnderBois

This course is a practicum course introducing the methodologies needed to collect, manage, and interpret primary data pertaining to the phonetic, phonological, morphosyntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties of an understudied language. The course takes a hands-on approach, with students working in groups and individually with a native speaker consultant of an unfamiliar language (Fall 2022: Peruvian Quechua). Students will learn how to test hypotheses about the language as well as construct grammatical descriptions. In addition, the course will cover a variety of practical, technological, interpersonal, cultural, and ethical issues typically encountered in fieldwork including reciprocity and engaged scholarship.

COLT 0812R Reimagining the Americas: Latinx and Indigenous Stories of Migration

Mariajose Rodriguez-Pliego, MWF 10am-10:50am

This course explores migration stories that reimagine the territory known today as the Americas, Abya Yala, Turtle Island, and Ixachitlān. It brings together narrators who call into question the idea of the nation and the mechanism of borders. What role does language play in community building as Native peoples face diasporas and become transnational networks? How is mobility bringing forth new forms of storytelling? By engaging with poetry, essays, films and artwork from Indigenous and Latinx writers, class discussions will try to understand Abya Yala in its full complexity. We will pay particular attention to how our course materials depict the environment as they address questions of land ownership, settler colonialism and ties to homelands. Readings will be provided in English and include Leslie Marmon Silko, Yásnaya Aguilar Gil, Natalie Díaz and Yuri Herrera.

ENVS1232 Land, Stewardship, Sovereignty, and Justice

Mindi Schneider, M-W-F, 11-11:50 am

This course is about land. We proceed from an understanding that land is a fundamental – yet often unacknowledged – source of life, knowledge, community, wealth, power, injustice, and healing. The course unfolds through five thematic modules. We begin with land, colonialism, and sovereignty, introducing dispossession and Indigenous empowerment in North America. We move to land, capitalism, and resistance, surveying local and global enclosures. Next, we study land, racism, and justice in the US, including racialized land exclusions and movements for food and land justice. We turn to land, bodies, and health, studying gendered land access and control, and the polluted bodies that accompany colonial, capitalist, and white supremacist land relations. In the final module on land, stewardship, and conservation, we critically consider leading/dominant proposals for land sustainability and conservation. Throughout the course, we ask: how and for whom does land matter?

ETHN 0090A The Borderlands/La Frontera

Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Th 4pm-6:30pm

This course examines the historical formation, contemporary reality and popular representation of the U.S.-Mexico border from a bilingual (English-Spanish), multicultural (U.S., Mexican, and Latino), and transnational perspective within the framework of globalization. It explores the construction of border communities, lives and identities on both sides of the international divide, with particular attention to the movement of peoples in both directions. We will read materials, watch films, and conduct class discussions in English and Spanish. Comfort and reasonable proficiency in Spanish is required, but native command is not necessary. Enrollment limited to 19 first-year students.

ETHN 1200B Contemporary Indigenous Education in North America

Adrienne Keene, W 3pm-5:30pm

In the past, formalized schooling in Indigenous communities was a tool of colonization and cultural genocide, forcing Native peoples to assimilate to western norms, values, and knowledge. However, contemporary Indigenous communities have managed to reclaim and reshape education for Native youth, utilizing innovative methods and technologies, as well as drawing upon generations of traditional and indigenous knowledges to create environments that promote academic achievement alongside culture. In this course we will focus on the ways Native communities are asserting their educational sovereignty, through culturally-relevant/responsive curriculums, language immersion schools, indigenous charter schools, traditional ecological and scientific knowledges, and more.

    ENVS 1615 Making Connections: The Environmental Policy Process

    Section S01, CRN 17432 (also listed under EEPS as CRN 17626)

    Amanda Lynch

    The diminishing quality of Earth’s systems and resources carries profound implications for the fulfillment of human rights and aspirations. But even as Western knowledge systems understand better the intrinsic interdependencies between humans and the non-human, policy gridlock persists. Indeed, scientific findings are regularly contested on political grounds. The purpose of this course is to learn how to apply diverse knowledges from Indigenous to Modern to map the relevant policy in problems at the intersection of human rights and environmental integrity, and to develop approaches to address them in ways that are creative, effective, responsible and just. Students are admitted in the following order: capstone fulfillment, core requirements, EEPS or ENVS concentrator, and others, in the order received in each category.

    Satisfies: Race, Power, and Privilege (RPP) (for Indigenous content specifically), Writing - Designated Courses (WRIT)

    HIST 0233 Colonial Latin America

    J. Mumford, TTh 9am-10:20am

    Colonial Latin America, from Columbus's voyage in 1492 to Independence in the nineteenth century, was the creation of three peoples: Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. Spanish and Portuguese conquerors brought with them the world of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Renaissance. Native Americans lived there already, in rich empires and hunter-gatherer bands. Africans came as slaves from Senegal, Nigeria, Congo and Angola, bringing old traditions and creating new ones. These diverse peoples blended together to form a new people. This was a place of violence, slavery and oppression -- but also of art, faith, new societies, new ideas. 

    HIST 1360 Amazonia from the Prehuman to the Present

    Neil Safier, MWF 1pm-1:50pm

    Merging lecture and discussions, this course will examine the fascinating and contested history of one of the world’s most complex fluvial ecosystems: Amazonia, in equatorial South America, from its pre-human history to the present day. The course will include readings and discussions on the region’s ecological origins; the social history of its diverse Indigenous and immigrant populations, including African-descended peoples; exploration myths and European colonial projects; and more recent efforts to exploit and protect Amazonia’s extraordinary natural and human resources. The course will use tools and resources from archaeology, anthropology, biology, and social and cultural history, and will also examine popular representations of the Amazon through novels, newspapers, podcasts, and film.

    HIST 1553 Empires in America to 1890s Naoko Shibusawa

    Naoko Shibusawa

    This course surveys the history of settler colonialism and the development of racial capitalism in what became the United States. It begins from initial encounters  between Native Americans and newly arrived Europeans and goes through to the extension of Euroamerican power beyond the continent. We know that the English colonial settlers and their descendants took dominion over Native American territories from “sea to shining sea.” But this was not an assured outcome. To restore contingency to what is often presented as a teleological narrative of Manifest Destiny, we will consider roads not taken, and see how struggles among European imperial powers and racial constructs were crucial to the political economic development of the United States. The purpose of this course is to sustain a thoughtful and informed discussion about how the United States came into being and how natives and settlers interacted with each other and with the larger world.

    NAHU 0100 Beginning Nahuatl

    Eduardo de la Cruz, TTh 10am-12pm

    Once the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire, Nahuatl is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico and in North America as a whole, with 1.7 million speakers and 30 variants. As the vehicle of centuries-old knowledge transmitted orally, Nahuatl offers an entry point into the cultures and worldviews of various indigenous communities today, both in Mexico and its diaspora. This online course offers an introduction to Nahuatl (Huasteca variant) through an immersive methodology focused on developing your speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing, while fostering your cultural sensibility and competence. Ability to understand Spanish is desirable. Language of instruction is Nahuatl and Spanish.

      NAHU 0300 Intermediate Nahuatl

      Eduardo de la Cruz, TTh 3pm-5pm

      Intermediate Nahuatl offers students the opportunity to learn new themes and cultural practices of the Nahua communities of Chicontepec after NAHU 0100 and NAHU 0200. The approach is geared towards developing communication skills at an intermediate level. These skills will also allow students to explore colonial documents written in classical Nahuatl. The teaching method employs a communicative and cultural approach designed to develop both language proficiency and cultural competence. This is achieved through activities related to specific functions, contexts, grammar, and vocabulary relevant to everyday life situations in an indigenous community. Sessions are highly participatory and interactive, and small group work is often used. The course is mostly taught in Nahuatl to encourage its use and practice in classes.

       

        Spring 2022 NAIS Course Offerings

        AFRI 0130 This is America: Reimagining the American Saga

        • Mack Scott, TTh 10:30-11:50a 
        • History offers us a framework to appraise the forces and conditions that have formed people’s shared experiences. Because of this, the histories we tell are often explanatory. They delineate how we arrived at this moment and tell us which people and what events were most consequential. But what happens when the people who look like you are not part of the story? Or if their inclusion amounts to cameos in support of a larger narrative that ultimately minimizes or ignores their contributions? This course reimagines American history by placing in the foreground the people and events often marginalized or forgotten in traditional appraisals of the past. Through a review of historical sources, literature, oral histories, and evidence found in popular culture, this class offers a more inclusive retelling of the American saga.

        AMST 1902K Collections and Colonialism

        • Sophie Abramowitz, T 4pm-6:30pm
        • ​Using a variety of media including fiction, critical theory, cultural history, photographs, audio, and digital archives and collections, this course will explore the ways that the act of collecting has been used to produce contesting ideas of personhood. Focusing on collecting and archival histories of Black and Native America, the course looks to the often overlapping formations of collections and archives to approach intersecting representations of race, gender, class, citizenship, nation, memory, history, and solidarity. For our final project, we will collaborate on building a digital collection in Scalar, working with the Center for Digital Scholarship and Brown’s Special Collections. WRIT, DIAP

        AMST 1907B Indigenous Peoples and Places: How Lines Are Drawn

        • Robert Caldwell, W 3pm-5:30pm
        • ​What is indigenous space? What is a traditional cultural place? What constitutes “Indian Country” today? What is the relationship between land base and sovereignty? How has space been contested? How have Natives and settler-colonists conceived land and territory over time? This course is designed to introduce students to geographies of Native America including, culture areas, the mapping of languages and polities, the history of cartography and will encourage students to think critically about colonization/decolonization. DIAP

        ETHN 1200B Contemporary Indigenous Education in North America

        • Nitana Hicks Greendeer, W 3pm-5:30pm
        • ​In the past, formalized schooling in Indigenous communities was a tool of colonization and cultural genocide, forcing Native peoples to assimilate to western norms, values, and knowledge. However, contemporary Indigenous communities have managed to reclaim and reshape education for Native youth, utilizing innovative methods and technologies, as well as drawing upon generations of traditional and indigenous knowledges to create environments that promote academic achievement alongside culture. In this course we will focus on the ways Native communities are asserting their educational sovereignty, through culturally-relevant/responsive curriculums, language immersion schools, indigenous charter schools, traditional ecological and scientific knowledges, and more.

        GISP 0005 Indigenous Language Learning: A Crash Course

        • Makana Kushi, TBD
        • This Group Independent Study Project assists students to self-study an Indigenous language. With the help of the graduate student advisor, each student will gather resources that range from mentors and Native speakers in the family to textbooks and online software and create a learning plan specific to their available resources and culturally contextualized goals. Students will meet weekly to discuss the unique pedagogy of Indigenous language learning, share strategies, and maintain accountability. Each student should come away from the course having achieved short term language learning goals, built a portfolio of self teaching materials, and identified long term goals and strategies.

        HIAA 1882 Indigenous Art, Issues and Concepts

        • Marina Tyquiengco, M 3pm-5:30pm
        • This seminar will map out the field of indigenous art with an emphasis on artworks from English-speaking settler colonial countries, concentrating on Native North American and Aboriginal Australian artists. We will approach indigenous art theoretically, outlining major issues and concepts of this global topic. Units will include defining indigeneity and indigenous art terms, anthropology in relation to art, and curatorial practice. We will begin by addressing the concept of indigeneity through legal and sociopolitical frameworks, continuing with museological display of indigenous art across time, and seeing how museums are working to better contextualize their anthropological collections.

        HIST 1970G Captive Voices: Atlantic Slavery in the Digital Age

        • Linford D. Fisher, W 3pm-5:30pm
        • ​The digital revolution is transforming the study of history. But is it allowing us to better recover the voices and lived experiences of people in the past? This course considers the possibilities and pitfalls of using digital tools to understand the lives of enslaved men and women in the Americas between 1500 and 1800. Each session considers a different digital humanities project, supplemented by primary sources and recent books. For their final project, students will contribute to the Database of Indigenous Slavery in the Americas, which is hosted here at Brown. There are no prerequisites for this course.

        IAPA 1403 Development's Visual Imaginaries: Still and Moving Images That Shaped the Field

        • Geri M Augusto, T 4pm-6:30pm Location TBD
        • Using primarily paintings and films, this seminar explores the visual imaginaries created and circulated between 17th and early 20th centuries especially in the Americas but also in Europe, which came to underpin prominent mid- to late-19th century and early 20th-century development theories and resultant legislation and public policies in the United States, and which were deployed both internally and abroad. The course will argue that development policies domestically and abroad often drew from the same set of ideas and imaginaries about categories of humans, land, nature, work, gender, race, capacity for self-definition and political self-representation, and who should wield power.

        MCM 0902V Imperial Visions/Decolonial Practices: From Palestine to Turtle Island

        • Sherena Razek, T 4pm-6:30pm
        • ​How do we look at ourselves, and how do we look at others? From where do these distinctions emerge, and how can we trace the, at times, blatant and at other times, insidious trajectories of imperial formations of looking that have shaped enduring configurations of race, class, citizenship, sex, gender, and ethnicity in our shared world? In this course we will trace the operations of the imperial gaze and (settler) colonial visuality, using different cultural, political, intellectual, and critical engagements with decolonial practices, focusing on such concepts as “resistance,” “refusal,” “resurgence,” “repair,” and “return.” In dialogue with weekly readings, screenings, and student-led discussions, we will work together to unpack these methods and approach them from different perspectives that center Black feminist, Critical Indigenous, and Palestinian theories anchoring our approaches in the geopolitical and imaginative terrain of Palestine and Turtle Island.

        NAHU 0200 Beginning Nahuatl II

        • Eduardo de la Cruz, TTh 10am-12pm
        • ​Once the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire, Nahuatl is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico and in North America as a whole, with 1.7 million speakers and 30 variants. As the vehicle of centuries-old knowledge transmitted orally, Nahuatl offers an entry point into the cultures and worldviews of various indigenous communities today, both in Mexico and its diaspora. This online course offers an introduction to Nahuatl (Huasteca variant) through an immersive methodology focused on developing your speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing, while fostering your cultural sensibility and competence.

        TAPS 1340A Native American Theatre: from Traditional Storytelling to the Modern Theater Movement

        • Muriel Borst, Th 3pm-5:20pm
        • This course examines Native American Theatre from origins of traditional storytelling to politics of race involved in Native theatre today. First, we will examine traditional storytelling from creation stories in literature and theatre. Second, we will study interactions with Europeans with the Doctrine of Discovery, Native American boarding schools systems, outlawing of traditional culture and how Native culture survived in these systems. These topics will be explored through Native literature and Native plays. Next, the course considers how the public, and the media, support the distortions of Native images. Finally, the course concludes by examining the modern era of Native Theatre and the Declaration of the Rights on Indigenous Peoples. Instructor permission required.

        Fall 2021 NAIS Course Offerings

        ANTH 1622 Archaeology of Settler Colonialism

        • Patricia Rubertone, TTh 10:30am-11:50am
        • ​The course uses settler colonialism as a framework for understanding how European colonists attempted to displace and eliminate Indigenous peoples beginning in the 15th century and its historical implications for structural inequalities of race and gender. We will look at how settler colonialism is different from colonialism, and more importantly, at resistances challenging its ambitions. Case studies from North America mostly, but also Australia, South Africa, and other settler colonial societies will focus on historical archaeology’s contributions to illuminating settler colonialist strategies for establishing and maintaining settler sovereignty in light of concerns for decolonizing archaeological practices. We will give special attention to the insights gained about the experiences of dispossessed, enslaved, and marginalized peoples and their descendants, and the many ways their actions critiqued settler colonialism and imagined different futures.

        ANTH 1901 Anthropology in/of the Museum

        • Robert Preucel, F 3:00pm-5:30pm
        • ​This course provides an introduction to museums from an anthropological perspective. Topics include politics of representation and the construction of the “Other”; objects, identity, and meaning; collecting and cultural property; and collaboration, community engagement, and indigenous self-representation. Assignments involve work with the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology’s exhibitions and collections. The course focuses on museums dedicated to natural and cultural history, but establishes theoretical and practical grounding for thinking about and working in other disciplines and other kinds of display institutions. It is suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students. There are no prerequisites; but familiarity with anthropology is presumed.

        ETHN 0090A The Borderland/La Frontera

        • Evelyn Hu-Dehart, W 3:00pm-5:30pm
        • ​We will examine the historical formation, contemporary reality and popular representation of the U.S.-Mexico border from a bilingual (English-Spanish), multicultural (U.S., Mexican, and Latino), and transnational perspective within the framework of globalization. We will explore the construction of border communities, lives and identities on both sides of the international divide, and pay particular attention to the movement of peoples in both directions. We will read materials, watch films, and conduct class discussions in English and Spanish. Comfort and reasonable proficiency in Spanish is required, but native command is not necessary. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

        ETHN 1750X: Native American Language Loss, Revitalization, and Resiliency

        • Nitana Hicks Greendeer, Th 4:00pm-6:30pm
        • ​This class examines the issues of Native languages, primarily in the United States. The course will study the variety of languages in North America, the factors that have negatively affected the strength and use of native languages in many tribes, the impact of such loss on communities, and the ways in which those communities have worked hard to maintain, revitalize, or reclaim their languages.

        HIST 0233, Colonial Latin America

        • Jeremy Mumford, TTh 9:00am-10:20am
        • ​Colonial Latin America, from Columbus's voyage in 1492 to Independence in the nineteenth century, was the creation of three peoples: Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. Spanish and Portuguese conquerors brought with them the world of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Renaissance. Native Americans lived there already, in rich empires and hunter-gatherer bands. Africans came as slaves from Senegal, Nigeria, Congo and Angola, bringing old traditions and creating new ones. These diverse peoples blended together to form a new people. This was a place of violence, slavery and oppression -- but also of art, faith, new societies, new ideas. 

        HIST 1310 The History of Brazil

        • James Green, T-Th 9:00am-10:20am 
        • This course charts the history of Brazil from Portuguese contact with the indigenous population in 1500 to the present. It examines the country's political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural development to understand the causes, interactions, and consequences of conflict, change, and continuity within Brazilian society.

        HIST 1512 First Nations: The People and Cultures of Native North America to 1800

        • Linford Fisher, MWF 12:00pm-12:50pm
        • ​This course explores the history of North America through the eyes of the original inhabitants from pre-contact times up through 1800. Far from a simplistic story of European conquest, the histories of Euroamericans and Natives were and continue to be intertwined in surprising ways. Although disease, conquest, and death are all part of this history, this course also tell another story: the big and small ways in which these First Nations shaped their own destiny, controlled resources, utilized local court systems, and drew on millennia-old rituals and practices to sustain their communities despite the crushing weight of colonialism. 

        NAHU 0100 Beginning Nahuatl

        • E. de la Cruz, TTh 10:00am-12:00pm
        • ​Once the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire, Nahuatl is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico and in North America as a whole, with 1.7 million speakers and 30 variants. As the vehicle of centuries-old knowledge transmitted orally, Nahuatl offers an entry point into the cultures and worldviews of various indigenous communities today, both in Mexico and its diaspora. This online course offers an introduction to Nahuatl (Huasteca variant) through an immersive methodology focused on developing your speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing, while fostering your cultural sensibility and competence. Ability to understand Spanish is desirable. Language of instruction is Nahuatl and Spanish.

        NAHU 300 Intermediate Nahuatl

        • E. de la Cruz, TTh 3:00pm-5:00pm
        • ​Intermediate Nahuatl offers students the opportunity to learn new themes and cultural practices of the Nahua communities of Chicontepec after NAHU 0100 and NAHU 0200. The approach is geared towards developing communication skills at an intermediate level. These skills will also allow students to explore colonial documents written in classical Nahuatl. The teaching method employs a communicative and cultural approach designed to develop both language proficiency and cultural competence. This is achieved through activities related to specific functions, contexts, grammar, and vocabulary relevant to everyday life situations in an indigenous community. Sessions are highly participatory and interactive, and small group work is often used. The course is mostly taught in Nahuatl to encourage its use and practice in classes.