Spring 2022 Courses

These Fall 2021 courses focus on Native American and Indigenous Studies, or they contain a significant emphasis on Native American and Indigenous themes during part of the course.  

Also look at:  Emory Course Atlas. and our longer list of courses at that are frequently offered at Emory University


ANT 280R – Indigenous Peoples of North America
TuTh 10:00-11:15 am
Dr. Debra Vidali
This course is about listening to and engaging with perspectives from Turtle Island (aka North America). We will engage with present-day writings, talks, and cultural productions by contemporary Native American scholars, authors, artists, and wisdom keepers. Through the lens of vivid ethnographic writing, ethnographic film, cultural commentary, class visitors, political documents, and other material, this course invites students to listen to and learn from: (a) the cultural knowledge, wisdom, and lived experiences of Native American Peoples (including first arrival on the continent, European contact and colonialism, historical relations with anthropologists; and ‘Indian Removal’ from the state of Georgia); (b) the processes and experiences that have contributed to present day conditions of different Native American nations, communities, and individuals; and (c) a range of cultures, governance systems, and sovereignty issues (selections from the over 500 federally recognized tribes, i.e. sovereign nations in the US). We will be challenged to sharpen our awareness of the importance of voice, perspective, positionality, and ethics in this work. Major themes this semester include: sovereignty, dispossession, decolonization, human rights, political activism, respectful and ethical engagement, and connections to land.

ANT 585 – Decolonizing Theory & Practice
Tu 2:30-5:30 pm
Dr. Debra Vidali
This graduate seminar focuses on theories and practices that shift and challenge conventional Western modes of intellectual production and research, and that support liberatory, collaborative, and non-violent modes of knowledge exploration and production. Drawing on contemporary interdisciplinary scholarship as well as critiques within anthropology, we will move toward an “anthropology otherwise.” We will consider how structures of inequality, imperialism, and settler mentalities are embedded within certain academic knowledge practices, and we will engage work that provides direction for liberatory and transgressive forms of research and scholarship. Themes such as anti-oppression, self-determination, sovereignty, positionality, intent, responsibility, ethics, and voice — as well as questions about research dissemination, legibility, and accessibility – figure centrally in this work.
During the semester, seminar participants will share and develop their own research projects, and will engage with other practitioners, including guest lecturers. Concrete skills and examples of research methods, modes of collaboration and accountability, and types of research output (e.g. writing and multi-modal forms) will be covered as we support seminar participants. Readings under consideration include work by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Faye V. Harrison, Trinh Minh-ha, Zoe Todd, Vine Deloria, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Ryan Cecil Jobson, Chela Sandoval, and E. Gabriel Dattatreyan. During the first few weeks, the class will work together to determine the schedule, the material to be produced, and the evaluation criteria. A collaborative contract will be established for the course guidelines and expectations. This will be written up and posted on Canvas.

ENG 210W  – Major Authors: Louise Erdrich
MW 10:00-11:15
Dr. Mandy Suhr-Sytsma
ENG 210W: Major Authors: Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, is among the most prolific and highly acclaimed authors of our time. This course focuses on her fiction, likely her novels Tracks, The Round House, and The Night Watchman, along with her children’s novel The Birchbark House. We will also engage some of Erdrich’s poetry and non-fiction prose, interviews with her, and scholarship about her work. Erdrich depicts Indigenous people’s experiences with boarding schools, sexual violence, land theft, anti-colonial resistance, Indigenous feminisms, and Anishinaabe teachings. We will discuss these topics and consider how Erdrich’s craft contributes to her portrayal of them. We will also explore the impact of Erdrich’s work for law, politics, pop culture, and education.

ENG 381W – Topics in Women’s Literature: Native American Women’s Literature
MW 1:00-2:15
Dr. Mandy Suhr-Sytsma
This course focuses primarily on recent writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama) by Native American women: Joy Harjo, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Linda LeGarde Grover, Layli Long Soldier, Natalie Diaz, Gwen Westerman, and others. We will read this literature in relation to both historical and contemporary concerns. How do Native women writers deploy diverse literary styles? How do they illuminate Indigenous women’s experiences with colonization, sexual violence, and intergenerational trauma as well as with resistance, healing, and empowerment? What can we all learn by centering the experiences and voices of Native American women?

HIST 190 – Freshman Seminar: Forced Removals/Native People
T 1:00-3:45pm
Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery
Indian Removal was a sustained, structuring process that unfolded over a long period of time and changed the course of American history and the fortunes of Black and White Americans, as well as Indigenous people. What most Americans think of as the ¿Trail of Tears¿¿forced marches of thousands of Native people from their homes in the southeast¿was one part of a policy which also unfolded nationwide for dozens of tribal communities, in the Midwest, Southwest, Northeast, and the Great Plains. The dispossession of Native communities also deepened the regional and national commitment to the enslavement of people of African descent and to anti-Black racism. Strategies to resist and accommodate Removal policies catalyzed Native governments and transformed Native education, gender roles, economies, and religions. U.S. federal and state governments colluded with ordinary citizens to create and impose Removal policies. Students will conduct original research to explore Removal¿s role in Emory¿s history.

MUS 370W/ ANT 385W – Indigenous Musics of the Arctic
MW 10:00-11:15am
Dr. Heidi Senungetuk
This course is a study of music and dance of Indigenous peoples of the Arctic region. Lectures are designed to introduce the music and dance practices of regional culture areas and how they reflect languages, social structures, philosophies, and belief systems, as well as the geography and history of each region. Interdisciplinary methods will be used to examine the historical and social dynamics behind changing musical and cultural traditions. Fundamentals of ethnomusicology theory and research methods will be introduced. Music majors: this course counts as a Category C.

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