ANT 324L • Midnight Sun People: Sami-W
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
What can a minority group, comprised of not much more than 50,000 people, teach the world about peaceful coexistence, sensible use of the environment and a meaningful rapport with the spiritual world? In this interdisciplinary course we will learn about the Sámi, an indigenous people living today mainly in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and on the Kola Peninsula in Russia. Not too long ago commonly referred to as Lapps or Laplanders and often the victims of discrimination by the majority cultures in whose proximity they lived, the Sámi have, in recent years, received a greater degree of autonomy and their culture is being studied both by non-Sámi scholars and by the Sámi themselves. And Sámi writers, musicians and graphic artists are being recognized worldwide.
We will first place the Sámi in a historical-cultural context by examining factual materials, both historical and contemporary, on the Sámi's social and economic systems, religion, customs and values. Many of the readings examined for this part of the course will have an outsiders point of view, but there will be materials written by Sámi scholars as well. In the major portion of the course we will view the Sámi primarily from within: the Sámi will present themselves through their literature, film, music and art.
Journal: Active reflections on materials read, ideas discussed in class and questions raised by reading, class discussions and other course-related activities. Not a loose collection of facts, but should include concepts, dates, figures and facts in an analytical and/or reflective context. Final entry should be an essay answering the following questions: a) What can a minority group, comprised of not much more than 60,000 people, teach the world about peaceful coexistence, sensible use of the environment, and a meaningful rapport with the spiritual world? AND b) A brief summary of major manifestations of present-day Sami culture. Journal including final essay, minimum 12 pages (25%) Substantial revision of final essay, minimum 12 pages (25%) Film review of Pathfinder, a film retelling an old Sami legend. At least 4 pages (10%). Exams (20%) Oral Report (10%) Class Participation (10%)