Approved Courses

The following classes have been approved for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Certificate for the Spring 2016 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.

Credit fulfillment

ANT 310L (30315) / LAS 315 (39605) – Aztecs and Spaniards (Enrique Rodriguez-Alegría, Anthropology)
The Aztec and the Spanish empires have attracted the attention of scholars and the public for a long time with stories of gold, human sacrifice, warfare, and the meeting of two different civilizations. In this class we will study both empires, taking advantage of the varied lines of evidence available for their study, especially historical and archaeological evidence, as well as monuments and works of art. The focus of the class will be on how imperial expansion affected the daily life of people in the Aztec empire and after the Spanish conquest. In addition to studying the daily life of different people in these empires, we will examine some of the themes that have fascinated both scholars and the general public, including human sacrifice, conquest warfare, and religion. The goal of the class is to examine social and cultural heterogeneity in both of these empires, to familiarize students with the diverse lines of evidence we have to study these empires, and to understand processes of historical change among the Aztecs and the Spanish empire. *Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30pm-2:00pm, UTC 3.122

ANT 324L (30360) / LAS 324L (39654) – Inca World (Alan Covey, Anthropology)
When Francisco Pizarro and led an expeditionary force into the Andean highlands in 1532, the Incas ruled the largest native empire to develop anywhere in the Americas.  The Incas governed millions of subjects living across one of the most diverse regions of the planet, and they left behind impressive material remains that speak to their organizational and technological abilities.  This course will explore how Inca civilization developed, how the Incas grew from a small highland state into a mighty empire, and how a small number of Spaniards and their allies were able to bring the Inca dynasty to an end.  We will read accounts of the Incas written in the first years of Spanish colonial rule, and will also review the latest archaeological discoveries. *Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am-11:00am, SAC 4.174

GRG 319 (36535) / LAS 319 (39610) – Geography of Latin America (Greg Knapp, Geography)
This course is a general introduction to the environmental, cultural, economic and political geography of Latin America and the Caribbean. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can also benefit from the exploration of such topics as environmental hazards, indigenous life ways and resource management, globalization and modernization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival. The course examines major environmental zones as defined by geomorphology, climate, and biogeography, in terms of risks and hazards, resources, and human impacts. Students also study social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures, including early migrants to the Americas, the rise of chiefdoms and indigenous civilizations including Aztec and Inca, the European conquest and spread of Iberian colonial culture and economic relationships, and the inception and spread of modernization as related to neoliberal and alternative forms of development including indigenous discourses of sustainability in contemporary Latin America. A range of environmental and social science theories and methods are discussed, including plate tectonics, basic climate models, hazards research, circumscription theory, and theories of modernization, dependency, and development. Communication skills are developed through graphical and essay questions on quizzes and exams, the written course project, and discussion in lectures and optional discussion sections. *Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am-11:00am, CLA 0.128

HIS 317L (38510) – American Indian History (Erika Bsumek, History)
This survey course will examine the history of Native American societies in North America from the earliest records to the present. We will explore the diverse ways in which American Indian societies were structured, the different ways that indigenous peoples have responded to colonization and the complex history of European/Indian relations. Attention will be paid to political, social, economic and cultural transformation of Native American societies over time. We will cover, among other things, the following topics: disease, religion, trade, captivity narratives, warfare, diplomacy, removal, assimilation, education, self-determination, and gaming. *Meets Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00pm-4:30pm, JGB 2.324

HIS 350L (38673) – History of Modern Central America (Virginia Garrard-Burnett, History and Religious Studies)
This course will chronicle the history of Central America from the independence period to the present day.  The class will focus on the Liberal-Conservative political polemic during the nineteenth century.  It will examine the economic and political relationships that evolved between these nations and the foreign industrial powers, particularly the United States at the beginning of this century.  Moving forward, we will explore the social and political turmoil that characterized the region during the last decades of the twentieth century, interrogating the “Central American crisis” of the late 1970s and 1980s through the interpretive lenses of the Cold War and also of local resistance. Finally, this course will examine the “paradox of peace”—the rebuilding of civil society in Central America and issues of historic memory in the post-war period. *Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am-11:00am, CLA 0.120

MAS 374 (35275) – Indigenous Film/Television (Dustin Tahmahkera, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies)
This course critically engages Native and non-Native productions, portrayals, and perceptions of the indigenous in cinematic and televisual texts from the 20th and 21st centuries. Teaching critical thinking and writing skills for interpreting diverse cultural, social, and ideological functions of Native American and indigenous representations and media, the course involves deconstructing/analyzing and reconstructing/reimagining images and discourses related to how indigenous identities have been historically and contemporarily produced, represented, and received in media. *Meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12:00pm-1:00pm, CMA 3.114

Capstone fulfillment and/or credit fulfillment

ANT 324L (30423) / LAS 324L (39663) – Global Indigenous Issues (Paola Canova, Anthropology/LLILAS)
This course examines contemporary issues facing indigenous peoples around the world. It takes an historical and ethnographic approach to critically analyzing the ways in which indigenous peoples have been impacted and continue to respond to forces such as colonialism and capitalism in different regions of the world. Topics include: Self Determination the Nation State, Human Rights, Gender, Ecologies, Migration and Social Movements. *Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00am-12:30pm, JES A203A

ARH 347L (20258) / LAS 327 (39669) – Mesoamerican Art & Culture (Stephanie Strauss, Art and Art History)
Mesoamerican art, architecture, and its archaeological context, with emphasis on the social function of art and visual culture in ancient Mesoamerica up to the time of European contact. *Meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12:00pm-1:00pm, DFA 2.204

SPC 320C (45189) / LAS 328 (39674) – Colonialism, Indigenous Languages and Revolution in Mesoamerica (Sergio Romero, LLILAS/Spanish & Portuguese)
This course examines the ambivalent role Mesoamerican languages have played as discursive vehicles of colonial power, on the one hand, and of subaltern contestation, on the other. It explores the inherent ambiguity of language in various discursive incarnations in Mesoamerican languages from the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521 to the rise of the Maya Movement in Guatemala in the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the uses of indigenous languages as a technology of power appropriated by the Church, the state and national elites in order to control and refashion indigenous peoples; at the same time, it also engages indigenous languages as complex cultural fields in which indigenous peoples have succeeded in preserving important spaces of creativity and cultural autonomy. *Meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 11:00am-12:00pm, SRH 1.320

Maymester study abroad courses

GRG 323K (36540) / LAS 330 (39695) – South America: Nature, Society and Sustainability in Ecuador (Greg Knapp, Geography)
This Maymester course is conducted in Ecuador, June 1-July 1, 2016. Ecuador is a small country with outstanding environmental and cultural diversity, and is a perfect location for the study of environmental and social change and sustainability. Coastal mangrove wetlands, mountain valleys and peaks and Amazonian lowland forests are home to diverse indigenous peoples and immigrants. The recent Constitution of Ecuador enshrines respect for environmental and cultural diversity as essential for a sustainable buen vivir. This Maymester uses Ecuador as a classroom, maximizing student experiences of a wide range of urban, rural and wild landscapes where students gain insight into current debates about environmental change, agriculture and development.

Previously Approved Courses


ANT 314C (Rodriguez, Enrique) Intro to Mesoamerican Archeaology (crosslisted as LAS 315 topic 2) - Fall 2014, Fall 2015
ANT 320L (Webster, Anthory) American Indian Languages and Cultures (crosslisted as LIN 373) - Spring 2014, Fall 2015
ANT 322M (Menchaca, Martha) Mexican American Indigenous Heritage (crosslisted as LAS 324 and MAS 374) - Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015
ANT 322M (Stross, Brian) Indians of Mexico and Guatemala - Spring 2013
ANT s324L (Speed, Shannon) Global Indigenous Issues - Summer 2014
ANT 324L (Sturm, Circe) The Black Indian Experience - Fall 2013
ANT 324L (TallBear, Kim) Indigenizing Queer Theory - Spring 2015
ANT 326D (Wade, Mariah) Native Americans in the Plains - Fall 2014, Spring 2014
ANT 326 (Wilson, Sam) Cultures in Contact (crosslisted as LAS 324) - Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
ANT 336L (TallBear, Kim) Native American Cultures North of Mexico - Fall 2014
ANT 340C (Sturm, Circe) Ethnographic Research Methods - Fall 2014

Art and Art History

ARH 347L (Guernsey, Julia) Mesoamerican Art and Architecture - Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015
ARH 347N (Stuart, David) Aztec Art and Civilization (crosslisted as LAS 327) - Fall 2015
ARH 370 (Stuart, David) Aztec Art and Civilization - Fall 2012


E 314V (Stewart, Anne) Native American Literature and Culture - Fall 2012, Fall 2014
E 314V (Uzendoski, Andrew) Native American Literature and Culture (crosslisted as AMS 315F) – Fall 2013
E 379R (Cox, James) Native America Literature - Spring 2014


GRG 319 (Knapp, Gregory) Geography of Latin America (crosslisted as LAS 319) - Spring 2014, Spring 2015
GRG 323K (Knapp, Gregory) Topic 3 South America-Nature, Society and Sustainability - Spring (Maymester) 2015
GRG 331K (Knapp, Gregory) Topic 17 Cultural Ecology (crosslisted as ANT 324L) - Spring 2014, Spring 2015


HIS 317L (Bsumek, Erika) Intro to American Indian History - Fall 2012, Fall 2013
HIS 350L (Deans-Smith, Susan) Rethinking the Conquest of Mexico (crosslisted as LAS 366) - Spring 2013, Fall 2014
HIS 350L (Deans-Smith, Susan) Visual and Material Culture of Colonial Latin America (crosslisted as LAS 366) - Spring 2014
HIS 350R (Martínez, Anne M.) Race & Citizenship In US History - Fall 2013
HIS 363 (Deans-Smith, Susan) Religion, Conquest, and Conversion in Colonial Mexico and Peru (crosslisted as LAS 366 and RS 368) - Spring 2013, Spring 2014

Mexican-American and Latina/o Studies

MAS 374 (Colomina-Alminana, Juan) Sociolinguistics for MALS majors - Spring 2015

Spanish and Portuguese

SPN 328C (McDonough, Kelly) Intro to Iberian and Latin American Lit/Cultures (crosslisted as LAS 370S) - Fall 2015
SPN 350 (McDonough, Kelly) Indigenous Voices in Latin American Literature: Nahua Literary and Cultural - Fall 2013
SPN 352 (Arias, Arturo) Literatura Indígena Contemporánea (crosslisted as LAS 370S) - Fall 2012 *taught in Spanish
SPN 355 (McDonough, Kelly) Topics in Latin American Literatures and Cultures: Cultures in Contact in Colonial Spanish America - Fall 2014
SPN 356 Topic 3 (Arias, Arturo) Contemporary Mesoamerican Indigenous Literatures - Fall 2014

Religious Studies

RS 346 (Graber, Jennifer) Native American Religions (crosslisted as AMS 327) - Fall 2014

Undergraduate Studies

UGS 302 (Deans Smith, Susan) When Worlds Collide: Indigenous Peoples Under Spanish Colonial Rule - Fall 2014
UGS 303 (Knapp, Gregory) Latin America: Environmental History and Sustainability - Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015