Approved Courses

The following classes have been approved for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Graduate Portfolio for the Fall 2017 Semester.

*The following information is provided for your convenience and is accurate at its posting.  Please check the official course schedule for the most up-to-date information.

ANT 380K (31590): MNMTS/PLACE/POWR ANCT ANDES (Alan Covey) W 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. SAC 4.120
The Andean region is one of the world’s most diverse, home to the majority of the planet’s major landforms. Ancient human occupations of Andean landscapes transformed them into unique social spaces marked by built features and natural landmarks. This course will focus on ancient monument-building in the desert, mountain, and jungle regions of the Andes, exploring how pre-state and state societies altered natural landscapes by constructing large-scale infrastructure, temples, and tombs. We will discuss the current scholarly literature to consider the ways that monument-building grew social power in the Ancient Andes, from Caral to Machu Picchu.

ANT 391 (31625): COLONIAL POWER LATIN AMERICA (Charles Hale) W 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. SAC 5.118
This seminar will examine two key concepts—“racial formation” and “coloniality of power”—as they are used to situate and analyze the politics of subaltern peoples in Latin America.  First, we will develop a theoretical genealogy for the study of racial hierarchies and racism in Latin America, paying special attention to how certain concepts “travel” and resonate in their new locations while others do not.  Is “racial formation” more aligned with Gramsci and “coloniality of power” with Foucault?  Why has the concept of “coloniality of power” emerged as an epitomizing frame for understanding racial subordination in Latin America, while “racial formation” theory has prospered in the north, but only occasionally crossing the Rio Grande?  The second objective is to trace the reverberations of these theoretical genealogies in our understanding of racial and ethnic identity as underlying principles for the organization and enactment of oppositional politics.  We will develop a framework for understanding identity politics, both generally and in Latin America, with a special emphasis on struggles for autonomy.  Has “autonomy” (in a wide variety of guises) become the principal idiom in the politics of racially subordinated peoples?  If so, what theoretical and political consequences follow? 

ARH 394 (20300) ENCOUNTERS WITH MEXICO CITY PAST AND PRESENT (Julia Guernsey and George Flaherty) W 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ART 3.432
This seminar will explore the history of Mexico City as told through its art, architecture, and material culture.  Collisions between the ancient Precolumbian past, the colonial era, and the modern present take form visibly everyday. One moves between centuries and civilizations, between the ancient temples and palaces of the Aztecs to those of the Spanish and modern Mexican states, in a matter of city blocks.  This complex, palimpsest—and at times spectral—landscape was formed and reformed over time by the urban imaginations and negotiations of indigenous Mesoamericans, Spanish conquistadors, European friars, slaves from Africa, rural migrants, and cosmopolitan modernists. This seminar will address the Aztec Mexico City and its architecture of empire; the arrival of the Spanish and the imposition of a new imperial agenda; the conceptual challenges of “New Spain” and its implications for indigenous and mestizo visual and spatial culture from the mid 16th century through the 18th century; a reassessment of these creative identifications and dwellings through the lens of independence in the 19th century; and issues of capitalist urbanization and governance, both authoritarian and democratic, in the 20th century.  We will emphasize throughout the significance of geography, built environment, and the role of artistic and architectural visualization and discourse in the creation of place and space.

E 395M (35878): RACE AND THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN LITERARY STUDIES (James Cox) T 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. UTC 3.120
This course will provide an introduction to key texts and scholarly conversations in African American, Latina/o, Mexican American, and Native American literary traditions. We will begin in the 1920s, when, as Terry Eagleton observes, “it was desperately unclear why English was worth studying at all,” and American literature faced what Elizabeth Renker calls “disparagement” and “hostility” within many university English departments. We will think about the place of these literary traditions in the broader institutional contexts of American literary and English studies while paying attention to their links to cultural forces, historical contexts, and political movements. Important questions under our consideration will include: what role did social and intellectual issues related to race play in the practice of American literary studies in the years before it “achieved institutional maturity” (Renker); what were the productive conflicts within these specific literary traditions and in American literary studies during the pre-civil rights era; how did these specific literary traditions and American literary studies change, if they did, during and after the Civil Rights era and, again, after the turn of the century and 9/11?

GRG 395D (37550): LAT AMER CULS, ENVIR, & DEV (Gregory Knapp) M 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. CLA 2.606
This seminar is designed to help Latin Americanist students perform academic research on human-environment relationships, as well as to work for and to critique development agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations. The class explores the ideas and methods of a number of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including cultural and political ecology, feminist political ecology, ecological anthropology, environmental history, development and post-development studies, sustainability studies, and cultural geography. The course will address a range of issues including definitions and theories of modernization and development; methods of cultural and political ecology; concepts of householders, livelihoods, and buen vivir; participatory development and theater of the oppressed; identity, territory, and mapping; population and resources; neoliberalism, conservation, and resource extraction; food and agriculture; and the roles of NGOs and academics in understanding discourses and solving problems. Topics and readings are developed in part on the basis of input from students, who typically come from multiple backgrounds and programs across campus. 

HIS 386K (39775): IMPERIAL FORMATIONS (Susan Deans-Smith) M 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. PAR 305
The main objectives of this readings seminar are to explore  the history of empire in Spanish America from comparative, theoretical, and methodological approaches. We will examine questions related to theories of empire and to the development, consolidation, and break-up of the Spanish empire. Topics include the construction of imperial and colonial archives, the formation of colonial societies and socio-racial hierarchies, law and colonialism, religion and colonialism, church-state relations, colonial bureaucracies, colonial economies, class, gender and race relations, imperial imaginaries/visual and material culture, African and indigenous societies, intra/inter-imperial interactions and conflicts in a global context.

HIS 392 (39800): ORAL HISTORY: THEORY AND PRACTICE (Emilio Zamora) M 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. GAR 1.122
The seminar will address the method and theory of oral history, and provide students an opportunity to read and discuss important written materials, conduct oral history interviews, analyze their interviewing experiences and findings, and prepare an oral history paper.  Selected readings will provide a basis for understanding the method of oral history, evaluating oral narratives, and preparing oral history projects.  Three sets of relationships that shape oral narratives will frame the general discussion in the class: relationships between words, ideas and accounts embedded in the narratives; relationships between the interviewers and the informants; and relationships between the informants’ recollections and their assessments of past and contemporary situations.

ILA 389 (45770): TERRITORIES:COLONIAL/ANTI (Luis Cárcamo-Huechante) TH 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. CAL 21
Since 1990s, the question of territory and territorial rights has been a foundational concept and imaginary in the indigenous resurgence movement throughout the Americas, or Abya Yala—the native Kuna term to name the whole continent. Against narratives of “de-territorialization” (Deleuze and Guattari) that prevailed in the terrain of “high theory” in late twentieth century, indigenous movement—already in the 1990s—placed the concept and imaginary of the territory as a fundamental notion in local and global political and cultural imagination. Usually, and mistakenly, indigenous notions of territory tend to be reduced to the land; however, for many native communities, it also includes the waters of rivers, lakes and oceans; the air and ether; material and spiritual domains. The present seminar will engage this indigenous politico-cultural articulation in order to explore the ways poetics and politics of the territory have shaped not only indigenous views but also literary, cultural, and historical discourses from other ethnic, racial, cultural and social agents in Latin America, in conjunction with colonial and anti-colonial histories. Furthermore, we will also discuss neighboring categories such as space, place, and border (frontera) as well as the ways in which territorial claims have become juxtaposed with new processes of diasporization; in this regard, the seminar will problematize to what extent the politics and poetics of diasporas may diverge, or perhaps mirror, previously held notions of deterritorialization and nomadism.  Finally, we will closely examine the acoustic, visual, geographical, racial, animal, human, bodily and spiritual senses of the territory as dimensions that play a critical role in the deployment of colonial and anti-colonial politics, engaging fields such as geography, sound studies, visual culture, environmental studies, and oceanic studies. Materials will include non-fiction prose, novels, poetry, chronicles, documentary video, video art, film, music, and historiographical and cartographical sources, especially from countries such as Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. *Conducted in Spanish

LAS 391 (40591): INDIGEN AND NATION BUILDING (João Pacheco de Oliveira) T 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. SRH 1.320
The focus of this course is the study of the indigenous populations that inhabit comtemporay Brazil. Based on classical and recent studies by Brazilian as well as foreign anthropologists, historians, and social scientists, the course affords a new introduction to Brazil, with the focus in the construction of its alterity and diversity. Prof. Pacheco is a Professor of Anthropology at the Museu Nacional/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and will serve as a Fulbright professor in LLILAS for Fall 2017.

LAW 697C (29600): CLIN PROG: HUMAN RIGHTS (Ariel Dulitzky) MW 2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m. TNH 3.128
Working from the advocate’s perspective, students collaborate with human rights organizations worldwide to support human rights claims in domestic and international fora, to investigate and document human rights violations, to develop and participate in advocacy initiatives before the United Nations, regional and national human rights bodies, and to engage with global and local human rights campaigns. 

MAS 392 (36255): VIOLENCE IN LAT/IND AMER (Nicole Guidotti-Hernández) TH 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. CMA 3.134

The following class has been approved for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Graduate Portfolio for the Summer 2017 Semester.

*The following information is provided for your convenience and is accurate at its posting.  Please check the official course schedule for the most up-to-date information.

EDC f388R (73740): NARRATIVE AND ORAL TRADITION (Luis Urrieta) MTTHF 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. SZB 312
This seminar will explore the qualitative studying of narrative and oral traditions, especially when working with underrepresented populations and as they relate to schooling and/or education. The selected literature will provide a basis for conducting life histories, testimonio, storytelling, and personal & collective narrative; understanding these types of oral narratives, and preparing narrative and oral tradition-based projects. The main focus of the course will be to understand how narrative and oral traditions can explain issues pertinent to sociocultural contexts on the basis of specific research questions, topics or themes. The following relationships will be explored and discussed: the relationships between words, ideas, and other elements embedded in narratives and sociocultural context; the relationships between interviewers and informants; and relationships between the informants’ individual and collective recollections and re/memberings; and informants’ views and assessments of past & contemporary social surroundings and issues. The course will also provide students an opportunity to conduct oral interviews and to analyze their findings. Students will expound on the readings and field experiences on the basis of discussions, oral reports and written assignments throughout the semester.

The following classes have been approved for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Graduate Portfolio for the Spring 2017 Semester.

*The following information is provided for your convenience and is accurate at its posting.  Please check the official course schedule for the most up-to-date information.

ANT 391 (31465) / LAS 391 (40690) / MAS 392 (36710): Oral Traditions And History (Martha Menchaca) W 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. SAC 4.120
This course will examine oral traditions (narratives about the past) and the politics of writing histories. We will explore how ethnographers recover historical information and reconstitute community histories. Auto-ethnography and autobiography will also be explored as historical methods and theoretical approaches that attempt to change the relations between author and informant. Central issues of analysis include: hermeneutics, oral tradition theories and methods, how people remember the past, memory, the politics of writing, and race.

EDC 388R-4 (10015) / WGS 393 (47425): Postmodern Analytical Methods (Fikile Nxumalo) W 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. SZB 526
This qualitative research methods course is designed for graduate students with an interest using postmodern theories (and their accompanying ontological and epistemological commitments) to think with data (Jackson & Mazzei, 2012). The primary approach taken in this course will be to work with selected postmodern/poststructural theoretical concepts in relation to their methodological and knowledge-making possibilities in education research. We will engage with the broad category of ‘postmodern research’ in two key ways. In the first part of the course we will focus on post-qualitative research methods, with a particular emphasis on new material feminist, post-structuralist and posthumanist orientations that approach research (e.g. data and analysis) in different ways from conventional qualitative inquiry. We will pay particular attention to possibilities in these methods for troubling universal truths and inequities, making visible power relations, and complicating human subjectivity in educational contexts. In the second part of the course, we will engage with research methods that resonate with as well as critically encounter recent ‘post’ turns in qualitative research, such as selected Indigenous research methodologies, postcolonial and Black feminist theories. We will engage with the course topics in multiple ways, including close reading of texts, multi-media experiences, and guest lectures. We will also engage in in-class and out-of-class encounters with ‘data’ and ‘analysis’, such as engagements with interview data, document analysis and classroom observations.

ILA 387 (45810) / LAS 381 (40585): Colonialisms/Postcolonialisms in Latin American/Transatlantic Contexts (Kelly McDonough) TTH 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. BEN 1.118
This course centers on a deceivingly simple question: what does it mean to be a Latin America/Transatlantic Colonial Studies scholar in the 21st century? Drawing from literary and cultural criticism, anthropology, linguistics, history, and art history, this interdisciplinary graduate seminar addresses how the sub-field has changed since the 1992 quincentennial of Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas, where Colonial Studies is heading in the future, and the relevance of Colonial Studies for student-scholars working beyond the early 19th century. Throughout the semester, students will be exposed to new approaches—both qualitative and quantitative—to key issues under debate in the sub-field today. Both canonical and non-canonical primary sources will be analyzed through a variety of lenses, with particular attention paid to visual texts, spatial experiences and representations (both colonial-period and 21st century GIS reconstructions), and social network theory as increasingly indispensable sources and tools. Students will also participate in archival and paleography workshops in the Benson Rare Books Collection in order to prepare for successful future archival research. Issues to be considered throughout the semester include colonialisms and colonialities; tensions between alphabetic and visual literacies; languages in contact; gender, race, and sexuality; colonial law and ordering; violence; ritual, performance, and religion; the non-human other; and objects in circulation.

LAL 385K (40310): Intensive Nahuatl I (Sergio Romero) MT 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. SRH 1.319

LAW 697C (29285): Human Rights Clinic (Ariel Dulitzky) MW 2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m. TNH 3.114
Working from the advocate’s perspective, students collaborate with human rights organizations worldwide to support human rights claims in domestic and international fora, to investigate and document human rights violations, to develop and participate in advocacy initiatives before the United Nations, regional and national human rights bodies, and to engage with global and local human rights campaigns. 

Previously Approved Courses


ANT 383M (Rodriguez, Enrique) Empires: Aztec and Spanish - Fall 2013

ANT 383M (Wade, Mariah) Archival Research - Fall 2016

ANT 384M (Rodriguez, Enrique) Aztecs and Spaniards - Fall 2012

ANT 391 (Menchaca, Martha) Oral Traditions and History - Fall 2013, Spring 2015

ANT 391 (Merabet, Sofian) Anthropology Between Culture and Society - Fall 2014

ANT 391 (Speed, Shannon) Theorizing from the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas - Fall 2013

ANT 391 (Canova, Paola) Neoliberalism, Indigenous People and the State - Fall 2016

ANT 391 (Sturm, Circe) The Politics and Conditions of Indigeneity - Fall 2012

ANT 391 (Sturm, Circe) The Politics and Conditions of Indigeneity - Spring 2015

ANT 391 (Velásquez Nimatuj, Irma Alicia) Indigenous People, Gender, and Politics - Spring 2016

ANT 391 (van Akkeren, Ruud) Penetrating Maya Thought - Spring 2016

ANT 392Q (Bolnick, Deborah & Kim TallBear) Race and Science - Spring 2015

ANT 392T (Menchaca, Martha & Valdez, Fred) Mesoamerica and Borderlands - Spring 2016

Art and Art History

ARH 390 (Guernsey, Julia) Topics in Precolumbian Art (with a tentative title of: Situating and Critiquing the Formulation of “Elite” or “High Culture” in Ancient Mesoamerica) - Fall 2014

ARH 390 (Guernsey, Julia) The Relaciones Geograficas in 16th Century Mesoamerica - Spring 2013

ARH 390 (Stewart, David) Maya Hieroglyphs and Iconography - Fall 2012

ARH 390 (Stuart, David) The Painting Traditions of Mesoamerica - Spring 2013, Spring 2016

Curriculum and Instruction

EDC 385G (Urrieta, Luis) Identity, Agency, and Education - Spring 2016

EDC 388R (Nxumalo, Fikile) Postmodern Analytical Methods - Spring 2016

EDC 395K (Nxumalo, Fikile) Environmental Education for Young Children - Fall 2016


ENG 395M (Cox, James) Contemporary Native American Fiction and Theory - Spring 2013


GRG 395D / LAS 388 (Knapp, Gregory) Latin America: Culture, Environment and Development - Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

GRG 396T (Beach, Timothy) Geoarchaeology of Mesoamerica - Fall 2014  

GRG 395D / LAS 388 (Stuart, David) Latin America: Cultures, Environment and Development – Fall 2015


HIS 350 (Smith, Susan Deans) Rethinking the Conquest of Mexico - Spring 2013

HIS 389 (Martinez, Anne M.) Religion in the Borderlands - Spring 2013

Indigenous Languages of Latin America

LAL 385K (Romero, Sergio) Intensive Nahautl - Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

LAL 385K (Romero, Sergio) Intensive K'iche' - Fall 2016


INF 385T (Roy, Loriene) Access and Care of Indigenous Cultural Knowledge - Fall 2016

Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

MAS 392 (Tahmahkera, Dustin) Visualizing Indigeneity in the Americas - Spring 2016

Latin American Studies

LAS 381 / ARH 390 (Guernsey, Julia) The Relaciones Geograficas in 16th Century Mesoamerica - Spring 2013

LAS 388 / GRG 395D (Knapp, Gregory) Latin America: Culture, Environment and Development - Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

LAS 391 / ANT 391 / ILA 387 (Escobar Ohmstede, Antonio) Indigenous Communities of Postcolonial Latin America - Fall 2015

LAS 391 (Hernandez Castillo, Rosalva) Epistemologies of Decolonization, Identity and Power - Fall 2016


LAW 397C/697C (Dulitsky, Ariel) Human Rights Law Clinic – Fall 2015, Fall 2016

Religious Studies

R S 383C / HIS 381 (Graber, Jennifer) Religion and Empire – Spring 2015

Spanish and Portuguese

ILA 386 (Romero, Sergio) Hispanization of Indigenous Language - Fall 2016

ILA 387 (McDonough, Kelly) Studies in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures: Spanish TOPIC: Indigenous Cultures in Colonial Mexico - Fall 2014

ILA 387 (Arias, Arturo) Contemporary Mesoamerican Indigeneities - Spring 2015

ILA 387 (McDonough, Kelly) Colonial Space and Mapping - Spring 2016