- Activities - 25% There
will be 12 activities you must carry out. They are listed at the
this page. In most cases you have to read, watch, or visit something
and write a brief account or analysis of it (1/2 page, single-spaced).
We will not count the two lowest scores, so a total of 10 exercises
will contribute to your final grade. Sometimes the activities correspond
to what we are doing in class and sometimes they do not.
There is a possibility of getting extra credit on these Activities. Recently people have done some extraordinary work with these, bringing in additional research, suggesting additional sites or alternative assignments. They went beyond the basic assignment to get at the larger issues. So we have made it so that an Activity can earn up to 3.5%, providing up to 10% extra credit.
- There are three midterm
exams ; each exam is worth 25%. The exams only cover one-third of
the course each. The third exam it is not comprehensive. It only
covers the last third of the course. There are no plusses and minuses
in your final course grade.
The following activities are due on the Tuesday of the week they are assigned.
Some of them are still changing and developing, so check back on the web
site before carrying out the activity.
- Activity 1 -- Cajun and
Metis music and culture -- Listen to this NPR piece on the music
and culture of the Metis -- listen
to the story here. Then explore
this site and read about Cajun music and culture. Please listen
to all you want, but especially some of the songs under "The
1920s and the 1930s". Also,
read pps. 450-452 from
the Nabokov book. If you want more information
on Cajun history,
look here. Briefly, who are the Metis and the Cajuns? What is
there in this music that suggests that it reflects the combination
or intersection of two cultures? What similarities can you hear between
Metis music and Cajun music. Write this up in a 1/2 page, single
spaced, or so and hand it in next Tuesday.
- Activity 2 -- 1492: AN
ONGOING VOYAGE, an exhibit by the Library of Congress.
Please read through the Exhibit 1492: An Ongoing Voyage, produced
by the Library of Congress. You can find it in the Library
of Congress's version or on a Sunsite
Although I am familiar with the topics covered in this exhibition,
I still found things that were new and surprising. Please explore
the site and write about 1/2 page on an some aspect that you found
interesting and had not known of before. Also, could you comment
on the idea of "inventing America" -- what is that and
why would people do it? Please don't just give what the site says,
but think about who is writing and who their audience was and think
about the range of possible motives they might have had.
- Activity 3 --
Please listen to this
radio piece from "A History of the World in 100 Objects",
and look through the images regarding a Mexican Codex Map. It's about
the early Spanish conquest of Mexico. Make sure you use the visuals
and zoom in on all the details of the map. Please describe how, in
general terms, Mexican Catholocism incorporated a number of aspects
of the previous pre-conquest religions, and please provide two or more
specific examples. If you care to try for extra credit with this assignment,
please examine it closely and describe and inerpret some thing or things
that might be missed in a cursory look. Or compare these depictions
of buildings and maps to present day images or maps.
- Activity 4 -- Selected
readings from "Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library and Renaissance.
- The exhibit
"ROME REBORN: THE VATICAN LIBRARY & RENAISSANCE CULTURE"
was put on by the Library of Congress in 1993. It included
material from both the Library of Congress and the Vatican Library.http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/vatican.exhibit/exhibit/Main_Hall.html
- Please browse through
the site, reading what interests you most. I would like
you to read the section "About the Exhibition" and
also read the section on Ptolemy's geography, under mathematics. http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/vatican.exhibit/exhibit/d-mathematics/Mathematics.html
Answer the following questions: 1) When was Ptolemy's Geography
written? (note: you can always make use of reference material,
like an Encyclopedia to get more information). 2) When did it become
widely available to European scholars? 3) What impact did it have?
- Another interesting
section of the exhibit deals with Rome's dealings with the Far
East ("How Rome went to China"). Please read
through this section carefully (and also "The Jesuits in
China") and answer these questions: 4) why was Rome
so interested in China, and 5) Why were the Chinese elite willing
to entertain the Jesuits? What were they interested in
getting in return?
- Please limit your typed
answers on a single page.
- Activity 5: Exploring American
- Activity 6: Please listen
NPR segment on the opening of the National Museum of the American
Indian. This took place on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in September
2004. Also check out the web site
for the NMAI. While there was some controversy concerning the
museum, the opening was seen as a significant event by many Indian
people. Of the small group of Native Americans interviewed, what
sentiments can you identify that seem to be held by everyone? Please
list at least three. Now browse through a few of the articles
published this week in "Indian Country Today", a
widely read newspaper dealing with Native American Issues. What range
of sentiments do you see expressed, and compared with the NPR piece,
list some of the major topics of interest to American Indian people
today. Again, please note at least three.
- Activity 7 -- Worlds of
Bones, parts I and II. Listen to this two-part piece on the repatriation
of Native American skeletal remains.
Please listen to these two audio segments and comment on the issue
of the repatriation and reburial of Native American skeletal remains.
There is a great deal on the web under topics such as "repatriation"
and "reburial". There is also a debate
published in Archaeology Magazine linked here. Please
list at least two arguments for repatriation and at least two arguments
- Activity 8 -- Thomas Jefferson
and Sally Hemmings
like the dreams of the future better than the history of the
past."-- Thomas Jefferson
- We live
in a world that has many histories. History is never as simple
"what happened," because people imagine, interpret,
and construct history in ways that are meaningful and sensible
Does the recent news that Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson
probably had one or more children together change your view of
history, or allow you to see the history of "Cultures in
in the U.S. in a different light?
- Here is an NPR piece
discussing the issue:
- And here is the Monticello
web site's set of links to related stories, including "Thomas
Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account"
- Activity 9 -- Explore the Africans
in America web site and answer questions about slavery,
Native Americans and westward expansion.
- The television
series "Africans in America" recently aired on PBS.
The experience of slavery and African-Americans was not simply
a singular experience between whites and slaves. For this assignment,
explore the series's companion web page, especially the section
concerning westward expansion. Answer the following questions
in two to three complete sentences each.
1. Why was Philadelphia different from most US cities between
1776 and 1865?
2. What does the Declaration of Independence have to say about
3. Briefly, what was the compromise of 1850 and what was it's
impact of subsequent events?
4. What role did slavery play in the settlement of Texas under
Mexican rule and how did it affect the region after 1846 and
Texas's attempts to gain statehood?
5. What was the "weeping time" and in that context, what rationale
did Sidney George Fisher offer for the continuation of the institution
- Activity 10 -- The
Indian Child Welfare Act
- Activity 11 --
There is U.S.
Census Bureau Report on Native American populations
here. Please read through this information. In particular,
please provide answers to the following questions:
- What are
the five largest tribes?
- What percentage
of Native Americans live in poverty, and what percentage
of all Americans live in poverty? For the Poverty
Questions this Wikipedia
Article might help.
- Of the Native
American Tribes for which specific information is available,
which tribe has the highest percentage of people living
in poverty and which the lowest?
- Please tell
me about one other interesting or surprising piece
of data you found on this site.
- Activity 12 --
Read this New York Times article about "How
Lucrative Gambling Pits Tribe Against Tribe." How
do you see the balance of positive and negative results of
Native Americans gaming? Please note some of the plusses
and minuses, and discuss some of the ways gaming has changed
things for American Indian tribes. You might also wish to
use the Gale
Virtual Reference Library to get general information
on the topic of Native American gaming.
Ancestry in DNA Ties Uncovered by Tests
- Interview with Wilma Mankiller
- Activity XX - AILLA is
a digital archive of recordings and texts in and about the indigenous
languages of Latin America. - http://www.ailla.org/site/welcome.html
- Activity ## read and
comment on creek treaties - http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/crtreaty.htm
- Activity XX - Kennewick
Man -- http://www.saa.org/publications/saabulletin/14-5/saa5.html
search: http://www.saa.org/Search/index.asp / http://www.saa.org/publications/amantiq/aqabstracts/aq66-4/owsley.html
identity in America
Generation to Generation - Survival and Maintenance of Canada's
- Go to the National Museum of the American Indian's NMAI
Radio page and listen to the piece called "Coyote Bites Back:
Indian Humor". Can you identify any dimensions of Native American
humor that are unique to that genre? What are some of the main themes
in the jokes and things discussed in the piece?
- NMAI - Listen to "We
are still here" piece dealing with the opening of the National
Museum of the American Indian.
- Sioux Warrior Red Cloud - NRP Piece
- [Audio report
on the Red Lake Chippewa of Minnesota and the new welfare reform
the following report from the September 8th, 1998 edition of
National Public Radio's "All Things Considered". It concerns
the way in which the Red Lake Chippewa of Minnesota are dealing
with new welfare reform laws that will force major changes in
the economic and cultural life on the reservation. The report
deals with some of the modern stereotypes and myths many people
hold about Native Americans (such as their attunement to the
environment or the success of casino gambling) while highlighting
the concerns of a group unsure how change will affect their community.
Write a short
essay (approximately 1/2 page, single spaced) on this topic.
Include observations on how some of the problems the Red Lake
community faces have deep historical background and how modern
myths and stereotypes affect these people.
Click HERE to
listen to the first portion of the report (approximate running
Click HERE for
the second portion of the report (approximate running time 8:00).
audio piece gives a little background on the welfare reform