Course Offerings

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.

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.

ETHN 0090A The Borderlands/La Frontera

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

    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
    • This course merging lecture and discussions 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.

    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.