Re-Learning Native America: Popular Imagination Versus Diverse Realities

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This course is no longer being offered.

Course Description

This course is being transitioned from on-campus to online. It may involve attending virtual class meetings via Zoom or some other meeting tool at various points throughout the session. Your instructor will arrange those meeting times once the course has begun; otherwise, the course will be conducted wholly online.

The duration, course credit, and fees associated with the course are the same as they would have been for on-campus Summer Session courses, which are the equivalent of full-semester Brown University courses, though offered in a condensed, seven-week format.

To ensure you are prepared, take the online readiness survey here:

In the US, Native individuals are consigned to the past, portrayed as existing in nature, or used to promote Halloween trends. But, what do we actually know about the 562 tribes who call Turtle Island home?

This course explores Native America, as represented in popular culture, by comparing fantasy to real 21st century Native experiences. Engaging with subversive literature and radical thinkers, we will confront media depictions, historical documents, and political legislation related to tribal life. Topics compare modern tribal issues (such as MMIW, Standing Rock, NAGPRA) to how Native America is imagined by majority culture. Rooted in anthropology, our syllabus (consisting of Indigenous sources) reveals the nuances of tribal nations and how they resist generalizations of what it means to be Native. Weekly themes include: museums, cinema, gender, DNA, etc. Combining academic texts, guest speakers, and field-trips to Native sites, we combat assumptions and learn about diverse tribes.

Students will attend classes, productively contribute to classroom discussions, ask constructive questions, complete assignments in a prompt manner, and attend weekly guest speaker lectures or field trips.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites are required, as this is an introductory course meant to provide a brief overview of various timely themes related to Native America. The course is open to students from all programs and year levels, including those from outside the social sciences and humanities.

Course Information

  • Course Code: ANTH0249
  • Length: 7 weeks

Program Information

Pre-Baccalaureate Program

The University’s seven-week Summer Session, offering credit-bearing courses drawn from across the Brown curriculum and open to rising and graduated high school seniors.

Program cancelled.

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