Spring 2019 NAIS Course Offerings

AMST 0190M Ecological (De)colonization: North American Environmental History, Justice, and Sovereignty

  • Gregory Hitch, TTh 9am-10:20am
  • This course investigates how historical and contemporary issues of resource capitalism, environmental justice, and settler colonization in the North American context are entangled. Students will come to understand that Indigenous sovereignty, and thus decolonization, is fundamentally concerned with land and water (i.e. the other-than-human environment). Students will receive an introduction to environmental history, learn to use primary sources, develop a theoretical toolkit to approach topics concerning settler colonialism and environmental/climate justice, and explore political and environmental solutions to the problems discussed.

AMST 1902S Dawnland Voices: Exploring Native New England

  • Theresa Warburton, T 4pm-6:30pm
  • In this course, we’ll explore New England as many stories. In particular, we’ll engage the connections and dissonances between the multiple stories that live with the land and its people and the central role that New England plays in the storying of the United States itself. Drawing on a range of texts including academic monographs, primary documents, poetry, and film, we will explore the stories that continue to live with New England as both a physical and incorporeal location. In doing so, we will also explore the complicated relationship that Native Studies has to the field of American Studies.

AMST 1950 Pursuit of Happiness: Environmental Justice and Indigenous Rights

  • Ron Potvin, Th 4pm-6:30pm
  • Co-instructors Ron Potvin and Lorén Spears will lead exploration of indigenous cultural survival in the midst of ecological exploitation by the colonizers of Rhode Island and North America. They will address these issues with tours to native heritage sites; meetings with native experts and advocates; historical scholarship; and fiction, poetry, and song. Students will communicate their understanding of course content through writing, creative expression, and multimedia. The class will contribute content to a travelling exhibition organized by the Humanities Action Lab for its 2019 Initiative on Migration, Climate Justice, and Environmental Justice.

ANTH 2500A Problems in Archaeology: Archaeology of Colonialism

  • Patricia Rubertone, Th 4pm-6:30pm
  • Explores the theoretical discourses shaping anthropological approaches and defining archaeological projects on culture contact and colonialism. Attention will be given to examining colonial encounters between Europeans and indigenous peoples as ongoing processes rather than particular historical moments, and to looking at recent efforts at decolonizing archaeological practice.

ETHN 1890H Introduction to American Indian Studies

  • Nitana Hicks Greendeer, TTh 10:30am-11:50am
  • Introduces students to both historical and contemporary issues in North America. Issues of identity, sovereignty, representation and self-representation are key components. Because this course is inter-disciplinary, we will use texts from anthropology, cultural studies, history, film and literature as tools to understand and appreciate the ways in which American Indian cultures survive, flourish and shape the United States. No special background is required. All students are welcome. Enrollment limited to 30.

HIST 0270B From the Columbian Exchange to Climate Change: Modern Global Environmental History

  • Bathsheba Demuth, MWF 12pm-12:50pm
  • Environmental stories are constantly in the news, from weird weather to viral outbreaks to concerns about extinction and fracking. In this course, we put current events in the context of the past 500 years, exploring how climate, plants, animals, and microbiota – not just humans –acted as agents in history. From imperialism to the industrial revolution and from global capitalism to environmental activism, we will examine how nature and culture intermingled to create the modern world. This is an introduction to environmental history and assumes no prior courses.

HIST 0576A The Arctic: Global History from the Dog Sled to the Oil Rig

  • Bathsheba Demuth, W 3pm-5:30pm
  • The Arctic is regularly in the media, thanks to climate change. This course examines the long history of human thinking about and habitation in the far north before and during the era of global warming. Focusing on how people valued, survived, and made the arctic home, topics range from whaling, the importance of dogs, cultural imaginaries and colonialism to capitalist and communist arctics, the meaning of sea ice, indigenous rights, and climate change. The course introduces historical methods and environmental history through reading, writing, discussion, and interpreting artifacts.

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

  • Linford Fisher, Th 4pm-6:30pm

  • 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.

LACA 1503M Indigenous Resistance and Contradictions in Latin America

  • Irma Velasquez Nimatuj, M 3pm-5:30pm
  • This seminar examines Indigenous People’s knowledge through community resistance and social movements to consider the multiple ways in which globalization impacts their lives. The objective of the course is to achieve an in-depth appreciation of Indigenous resistance through the experiences of specific countries of Latin America, and learning how those practices vary according to each region and circumstance. Across the semester, we will develop critical perspectives on diverse academic approaches. Students will read and analyze path breaking documents that marked several indigenous peoples’ histories and that at times come from voices historically marginalized.

LACA 1503N Race, Racism, and Indigeneity in the Americas

  • Daina Sanchez, T 4pm-6:30pm
  • This upper division seminar focuses on the history and cultures of Latin America’s indigenous peoples, emphasizing the impact of colonial rule, capitalism, and twentieth- and twenty- first century transformations on indigenous communities. Students will trace the effects European conquest and colonization through Latin American history ending with the displacement and emigration of indigenous people from their communities as result of social upheaval and neoliberal policies. Students will frame the experiences of indigenous immigrants through a transnational lens, analyzing how indigenous peoples navigate racial and social institutions in both the U.S. and Latin America.

MUSC 1923 Music in the Andean Countries: From Cumbia to Carnavalito

  • Joshua Tucker, TTh 10:30am-11:50am
  • This course provides an introduction to the music of South America’s Andean countries. Through texts, listenings, and hands-on instruction, students will explore the social histories and stylistic principles of genres like Colombian and Peruvian cumbia, Afro-Peruvian festejo and landó, Chilean nueva canción, and the sikuri and huayno music of South Andean Quechua and Aymara peoples. Class sessions balance cultural analysis with opportunities to play, and students are expected to develop some facility with key songs and rhythms. No experience is necessary, though inexperienced musicians can expect to focus on instrumental or vocal parts that present a lower bar to participation.

POLS 0920B Introduction to Indigenous Politics with Pacific Islander Focus

  • Mary Tuti Baker, T 4pm-6:30pm

  • This introductory course in Indigenous political thought engages with critical Indigenous thinkers in order to understand Indigenous political praxis, resurgence and decolonization. Because Indigenous study is place-based and kinship relationships to land and all existents of that land are fundamental to understanding Indigenous political thought, Indigenous politics must be studied in the context of particular indigenous peoples. To that end this course focuses on political movements of contemporary Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). In addition to developing a fuller understanding of Indigenous political thought, this class also explores what it means to move beyond colonial relationships with the State.