Alexandra J Harmon
History of American Indians in the United States from 1840 to the present. Emphasis on relations between Indians and non-Indians, government policies, and Indian strategies of survival. Offered: jointly with AIS 332.
The history of American Indian experiences since the U.S. government first exercised power from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, including the federal government's evolving Indian policies, efforts to suppress and revive Indian tribal self-government, Indian resistance and adaptation to policies and programs aimed at altering Indian cultures, Indians' participation in and impact on aspects of American life beyond Indian country, and changing understandings and expressions of Indian identity.
Student learning goals
An understanding of the historical reasons for American Indians' unique legal and political status in American society;
Knowledge of the historical background for current controversies about Indians' rights and about Indian identity;
Insights into the nature of ethnic identity;
Conceptual tools for analyzing the dynamics of interracial relations in the United States;
Knowledge of and a basis for understanding the perspectives of American Indians on modern United States history;
Development of ability to read and write critically about human affairs and history.
General method of instruction
Class meetings will entail a mix of lecture, discussion, and student presentations, including discussion of assigned readings and films/videos.
Completion of AIS/HSTAA 331 (American Indian History to 1840) is ideal preparation but not a prerequisite. Other suitable preparation could include a college-level course in American colonial or early American history, an introductory AIS course such as AIS 201, or a high quality high school American history course.
Class assignments and grading
Readings (in secondary and primary sources) up to 100 pages per week; two short graded essays based on assigned readings (no outside research required); a final essay exam; one or two "town meeting" style forums or debates that entail a short oral presentation and short writing assignment; and occasional ungraded (credit/no-credit) assignments.
Approximately equal credit for papers, exams, and participation. Credit for improvement over time.