AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES GUIDE TO COURSE OFFERINGS
Below is a sample of courses that have been offered over the last couple years. This listing is not all inclusive and is merely a guide to be used in consultation with the Chair of the program and/or your academic advisor. The listing of a course here should not be considered a recommendation for all students. Since each student has unique program needs, courses from this list and elsewhere should be discussed before enrollment. These courses are available depending on faculty availability.
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American Indian Studies M10— Introduction to American Indian Studies
Survey of selected Native North American cultures from pre-Western contact to contemporary period, with particular emphasis on early cultural diversity and diverse patterns of political, linguistic, social, legal, and cultural change in postcontact period.
American Indian Studies 19. Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars
Seminar, one hour. Discussion of and critical thinking about topics of current intellectual importance, taught by faculty members in their areas of expertise and illuminating many paths of discovery at UCLA. P/NP grading.
American Indian Studies 89. Honors Seminars
Seminar, three hours. Limited to 20 students. Designed as adjunct to lower division lecture course. Exploration of topics in greater depth through supplemental readings, papers, or other activities and led by lecture course instructor. May be applied toward honors credit for eligible students. Honors content noted on transcript. P/NP or letter grading.
American Indian Studies 89HC. Honors Contracts
Tutorial, three hours. Limited to students in College Honors Program. Designed as adjunct to lower division lecture course. Individual study with lecture course instructor to explore topics in greater depth through supplemental readings, papers, or other activities. May be repeated for maximum of 4 units. Individual honors contract required. Honors content noted on transcript. Letter grading.
American Indian Studies 99. Student Research Program
Tutorial (supervised research or other scholarly work), three hours per week per unit. Entry-level research for lower division students under guidance of faculty mentor. Students must be in good academic standing and enrolled in minimum of 12 units (excluding this course). Individual contract required; consult Undergraduate Research Center. May be repeated. P/NP grading.
American Indian Studies M118—Student-Initiated Outreach and Retention Issues in Higher Education
Exploration of issues in outreach and retention of students in higher education, especially through student-initiated programs, efforts, activities, and services, with focus on UCLA as a case.
American Indian Studies C120/C220—Working in Tribal Communities: Introduction
Through readings, discussion, and Native guest lecturers, students learn to participate within Native American communities engaged in political, social, and cultural processes of change and preservation. Development of proposal for Native nation-building project.
American Indian Studies C121/C221—Working in Tribal Communities: Preparing for Fieldwork
Through readings, discussion, Native guest lecturers, and project participation, introduction to rules of conduct and skills necessary to successfully work or carry out community service projects for Native American communities and organizations.
American Indian Studies 122SL/222SL— Working in Tribal Communities: Service Learning
Participation in community service learning project within Native American communities and organizations where students are mentored and supported by faculty members, other students, and project directors toward completing assigned service learning tasks and contributing to project activities.
American Indian Studies C130/C230—California Indian Strategies for Contemporary Challenges
Through readings, discussion, and Native guest lecturers, introduction to contemporary issues and processes of self-directed social change and political, cultural, legal, and economic processes of nation building in contemporary California Native communities.
American Indian Studies 140C—Federal Indian Law and Policy
Through readings, discussion, and Native guest lecturers, introduction to fundamental concepts and history of federal Indian law and policy. Investigation of contemporary policies and legal issues and exploration of Native responses to policy and law.
American Indian Studies 158—Nation Building
Examination of historical interplay of federal policies with tribal cultures that has shaped political development of American Indian tribal nations. Current developments within Indian nations, including restructuring government, developing economies, and asserting cultural sovereignty to be subject of research, study, and required community-based projects.
American Indian Studies M161/261—Comparative American Indian Societies
Comparative and historical study of political, economic, and cultural change in indigenous North American societies. Several theories of social change, applied to selected case studies.
American Indian Studies M162. Language Endangerment and Linguistic Revitalization
(Same as Anthropology M162.) Lecture, three hours; activity, one hour. Requisites: course M10, Anthropology 33. Examination of causes and consequences of current worldwide loss of linguistic diversity and revelation of kinds of efforts that members of threatened heritage language communities have produced in their attempt to revitalize these languages. Projected loss of as many as half of world’s languages by end of 21st century can only be explained as outcome of such factors as nationalism, global economic forces, language ideological change, and language shift away from smaller indigenous and tribal languages. Since loss of such languages means both reduction of cultural as well as linguistic diversity, many affected communities have engaged in various language renewal practices. Examination of some diverse strategies that have been attempted, including immersion, language and culture classes, master-apprentice, interactive multimedia, mass media approaches, and language policy-reform approaches. Evaluation of effectiveness of these measures and of very imagery used to discuss language endangerment. P/NP or letter grading.
American Indian Studies C170/C270— History of Native Americans in California
Introduction to overview of California Indian history, specific tribal community histories, and/or contemporary California Indian history through readings, discussion, and Native guest lecturers.
American Indian Stds 175—Cultures of Native Southern California
Introduction to Southern California indigenous societies and Serrano people through readings, discussion, guest lecturers, and direct participation via video-conferenced courses with San Manuel Nation.
American Indian Studies C178/C278— California Experiences in Native Cultural Resource Management
This course explores the topic of Indigenous cultural resource protection with an emphasis on the struggles faced by tribal peoples from the lands now known as California. We will begin with an introduction to the meaning of cultural resources and sacred sites from an Indigenous perspective. Unit One identifies the institutions, systems and actors that make up the field of cultural resource protection and gives an overview of the terminology commonly used in the field. Unit Two identifies the legal tools available to tribes and Indian people in their efforts to protect these lands and resources. Unit Two includes a survey of tribal cultural resource stewardship programs and an in-depth discussion of the federal, state and local laws that provide the regulatory framework for cultural resource protection. Unit Three focuses on non-legal tools available to tribes and individuals dedicated to preservation, such as community organizing, protests and media campaigns. Unit Four broadens the scope to include an international perspective on cultural resource protection. The course will conclude with a conversation with California Indian activists who have been fighting to protect tribal cultural resources for decades.
American Indian Studies 180— Introduction to and Practicum in Native American Language
Development of ability to converse, read, and write at elementary level in Native American languages. Introduction to both phonological and grammatical structures, vocabulary, and cultural patterns of using language as symbolic guide to culture.
American Indian Studies 187/201— Special Topics in American Indian Studies
Variable topics selected from following: Myth and Folklore of Indian Societies; Contemporary American Indian Literature; Social Science Perspectives of American Indian Life; Law and American Indian; History of American Indians (cultural area); Dance and Music of American Indians (cultural area); American Indian Policy.
American Indian Studies 188— Representing Culture, Ethnicity and Race in American Museums
Members of minority communities who visit museums often have different interests and objectives than their Euro-American counterparts. Introduction to diverse strategies used to prepare exhibits and represent cultures.
American Indian Studies 195/295—Corporate and Community Internships
Internship working in an American Indian urban or tribal community.
American Indian Studies 199—Special Studies in American Indian Studies
Special individual studies on topics in American Indian Studies.
AIS 200 Special Topics in American Indian Studies. A departmental topics course offering an in-depth aspect of the field. The topic will be up to discretion of the instructor and will count toward elective credit.
AIS 201 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Methods in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. In this weekly pro-seminar, members of the core and affiliated faculty will be invited to present approaches to interdisciplinary studies and discuss their own research. A core faculty member will coordinate participants with an eye toward including a wide range of faculty whose research and teaching balances disciplinary and theoretical approaches with interdisciplinary approaches to American Indian Studies and Indigenous Studies. The coordinating faculty member will be in charge of organizing the pro-seminar in Spring of the previous year and in the summer, moderating all meetings, compiling and assigning readings, and grading the final papers.
AIS 202 Key Theories and Concepts in American Indian Studies. This course relates debates in the field to key intellectual movements and concepts (such as Sovereignty, Self-Determination, Colonialism, Decolonization, etc.) seminal to the field. It will explore concepts and critiques that contributed to development in American Indian and Indigenous communities thought and practices. The debates and interventions to be considered concern changing boundaries of the field over time. Through the examining of key concepts in the field, students will be able to identify ethical issues in relation to research with Indigenous communities.
203 A New Directions in Native American History: Contact, Conflict, and Survival This seminar will involve the close reading of eight recent books, a presentation, the writing of a book review, and the creation of a substantial historiography or research paper. Discussions will reference the themes of accommodation, adaptation, assimilation, agency, violence, resistance, and survival in Native American history while focusing on five historical questions at the heart of recent scholarship analyzing relations between Native Americans and newcomers.
204 Contemporary Indigenous Governance and Policy This course focuses on debates and interventions concerning methods of inquiry in policy, law and political relationships with institutions such as the US government and United Nations. It will examine the current relationships between American Indian tribes and Indigenous peoples and individuals within those communities. In this seminar, students will engage the development and exchange of scholarly information on theoretical and practical issues in law and policy and how it effects tribal peoples on the ground.
205 Qualitative Methods/Ethnography in American Indian and Indigenous Communities This course focuses on conceptual and methodological frameworks of ethnography related qualitative methods, including research design, grounded theory, the field note journal, participant observation, interviewing, incorporating media into ethnography, mapping, and social media analysis; major themes include the role of indigenous/insider researchers, the relationship between methods and research design, the relationship between theory and ethnographic methods, research ethics, and community collaboration. Topically, the content of the course will be based on the Instructor’s particular field of inquiry in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. The class teaches methods in the context of topical issues and debates in American Indian Studies and Indigenous Studies.
206 American Indian and Indigenous Narrative strategies and Literary Methods The field of literature is a key discipline to the development of American Indian Studies. American Indian literatures and narratives were a political force from the start of US and American Indian relationships. From early rhetorical practices to contemporary modes of expressing Indigenous life, these practices have served as anti-colonial tools. Storytelling exerts forms of intellectual sovereignty and disrupts settler colonial knowledge production. This course will examine the production of knowledge of American Indians and Indigenous peoples, forms of intellectual, cultural and visual sovereignty, rhetorical practices of self-representation, and narrative methods used by authors to address historical and contemporary American Indian issues. Students will undertake discourse analysis, theoretical interventions, close textual reading, and visual aspects of storytelling that are significant mechanisms to imagining Indigenous futurities.
207 Economic Principles and Economic Development in Indigenous Communities This course will familiarize students with the fundamental concepts, themes and principles of economic development. The setting will focus on indigenous communities broadly and will be contrasted (where appropriate) with other regions, countries and communities. Important concepts such as opportunity cost, economic trade-offs, adverse selection, moral hazard, and discount rates will be introduced through the use of existing research and case studies. Students that successfully complete the course will be familiar with these economic concepts and their correct usage. The course will also provide a broad overview of the current standing of indigenous communities (primarily in the US) in terms of microeconomic and macroeconomic development.
208 Native American Languages and Discourses of Indigeneity and Cultural Sovereignty This seminar will involve close reading and discussion of books and articles on a variety of topics relating to Native American languages and the discourse of Indigenous communities.
American Indian Studies M228—Seminar: Indian Law—Tribal Legal Systems
Study of historic and contemporary legal systems of selected tribes, with emphasis on relationships among law, religion, and social order.
American Indian Studies M238—Indian Law Clinic
Students provide nonlitigation legal assistance to Native American tribal nations, mostly in California. Clinic services include development and modification of tribal legal codes and constitutional provisions, development of tribal courts and other dispute resolution processes, and drafting of intergovernmental agreements. Cross-cultural representation, legislative drafting, and intergovernmental negotiation skills stressed.
American Indian Studies M267—Federal Indian Law
Special legal status of American Indains and Indian tribes and tension between moral/legal claims and political forces. Sources and scope of federal, state, and tribal power on Indian reservations; property law concepts unique to Indian tribes and Indians; rights of American Indians in relation to federal, state, and tribal governments and federal trust relationship to Indians.
American Indian Studies 596—Directed Individual Studies
Tutorial, to be arranged, in which students pursue individual studies under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
American Indian Studies 598—Research for and Preparation of M.A. Thesis
Individual tutorial under direction of faculty mentor, for preparation of research data and writing of M.A. thesis.
Examples of Courses in other Departments
Anthropology C144/C243P— Native American Languages and Cultures
Introduction and comparative analysis of sociocultural aspects of language use in Native North American Indian speech communities. Specific foci include both micro- and macro-sociolinguistic topics. Micro-sociolinguistic topics are comprised of such issues as multilingualism, cultural differences regarding appropriate communicative behavior and variation within speech communities (e.g., male and female speech, baby talk, ceremonial speech, etc.). Macro-sociolinguistic considerations include language contact and its relationship to language change and language in American Indian education.
Anthropology C169R/C269R—Repatriation of Native American Human Remains and Cultural Objects
Native Americans have recently been successful in obtaining passage of federal and state laws repatriating human remains and cultural objects to them. Examination of this phenomenon.
Art History C117A/C218A— Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico
Study of art of selected cultures of northern Mesoamerica from ca. 1200 B.C. to the Conquest, with emphasis on historical and iconographic problems.
Art History C117B/C218B—Pre-Columbian Art of the Maya
Study of art of selected Maya-speaking cultures of southern Mesoamerica from ca. 2000 B.C. to the Conquest, with particular emphasis on history and iconography.
Art History C117C/C218C—Pre-Columbian Art of the Andes
Study of art of selected cultures of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia from ca. 4000 B.C. to the Conquest, with particular emphasis on history and iconography of art of Peru.
Art History C117D/C218D—Aztec Art
Painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts of Nahuatl-speaking peoples of central Mexico in the centuries before the Spanish conquest, with emphasis on their social and historical context and major scholarly debates.
Ethnomusicology 106A—Traditional North American Indian Music
Native North American traditional music and its role in tribal societies. California, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Northern and Southern Plains, Great Lakes/Eastern Woodlands, and Southeastern culture areas included.
Ethnomusicology 106B—Contemporary North American Indian Music
Contemporary Native North American musical expression, including popular styles (folk, country, rock), intertribal Indian musical genres (powwow), syncretic religious music, and traditional/historic Pan-Indian music.
Ethnomusicology 107—South American Indian Music
Native South American traditional music and its role in indigenous societies. Topics include relationship between speech and song, use of music by shamans, musical structures, and use of indigenous music in creating nationalist and popular music styles.
Ethnomusicology 108A—Music of Latin America
Survey of traditional and contemporary musical culture of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Isles.
Ethnomusicology 108B— Music of Latin America
Survey of traditional and contemporary musical culture of Latin South America.
Gender Studies 108S – Violence Against Women
Lecture, three hours. Requisite: course 10. Factual information and theoretical analyses regarding various forms of violence against women and girls in their homes, workplaces, and communities through critical examination of social structures and social science research. Letter grading.
Gender Studies 130— Women of Color in the U.S.
Exploration of experiences of African American, Asian American, Chicana, and Native American women in order to assess intersections of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Contemporary and/or historical and/or theoretical perspectives on racism and its relation to feminism as defined by women of color.
History 149A/249A—North American Indians to 1830
History of Native Americans from contact to 1830, with emphasis on historical dimensions of culture change, Indian political processes, and continuity of Native American cultures. Focus on selected Indian peoples in each period.
History 149B/249B— North American Indians 1830-Now
History of Native Americans from 1830 to the present, with emphasis on historical dimensions of culture change, Indian political processes, and continuity of Native American cultures. Focus on selected Indian peoples in each period.
History 260A-B—Seminar: Native American History
Graduate seminar on Native American history.
History 260C—Native American Revitalization Movements
Examination of revitalization movements among Native peoples of North America (north of Mexico). Specific revitalization includes Handsome Lake, 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dances, and Peyote Religion.
History 260D—Native American Historical Demography
Examination of population history of Native Americans north of Mexico prior to and following contacts with Europeans, Africans, and others, circa 1492. Emphasis on number of American Indians and other Native Americans, their decline following European contact, and their recent resurgence.
Linguistics 114— American Indian Linguistics
Survey of genetic, areal, and typological classifications of American Indian languages; writing systems for American Indian languages; American Indian languages in social and historical context. One or more languages may be investigated in detail.
Psych 133G:Culture and Human Development
The theme of the course is social change, culture, and human development. This refers to the way that global demographic, technological, and cultural shifts are changing socialization and child development. A case study of an indigenous Maya community in Chiapas, Mexico provides a case study of historical change, detailed in the course text book: Weaving Generations Together: Evolving Creativity in the Maya of Chiapas. The course will be tied together by the instructor’s interdisciplinary theory of social change and human development. Psychology 133G takes a multidisciplinary approach to the subject; in addition to psychology, it will draw particularly upon anthropology and sociology. Students, along with the instructor and teaching assistants, will have the opportunity to relate the class materials to their own experiences growing up as members of various ethnic or cultural groups.
Theater 103F—Native American Theater
Study of American Indian theater as an evolving art form.
Theater 107—Drama of Diversity
Investigation of diversity in American society as manifested in dramatic works and theatrical presentations.