American Indian Studies

College of Ethnic Studies

Dean: Kenneth P. Monteiro

Department of American Indian Studies

Ethnic Studies and Psychology Building, Room 103
Phone: (415) 405-3928
Chair: Robert Keith Collins, Ph.D.

Program Scope of American Indian Studies

The Department of American Indian Studies educational mission and objectives has a special responsibility to Native peoples of California and the United States. California is the land on which the University and department rest; CSU is a public institution in the United States education system. Therefore, significant aspects of the program and curriculum focus on Natives of California, US-Native politics, and North American Indian cultures with the aim of preparing students to work with Native groups and urban communities in California and the United States. The program also includes an international, comparative perspective and coalitional politics with Native peoples of U.S. occupied territories and more broadly within the Americas and the Pacific. It balances classroom education with an active community participatory learning component. Therefore, it best prepares students for going on to do graduate work or a number of different careers with Native peoples in not only California but internationally.

Learning Objectives

In completing the major and minor program:

  1. Students will understand the complex histories, politics, and social issues confronting Native peoples in the context of U.S. colonization, imperialism, and globalization. This understanding will include awareness of the diverse political strategies used by Native peoples to confront the historical legacies of dispossession, genocide, and social inequity and discrimination, including legal action for land restoration and cultural conservation/revitalization efforts.
  2. Students will compare and contrast the uniqueness of Native epistemologies and their articulation in contemporary forms of cultural media, such as through literature and the creative arts.
  3. Students will gain invaluable experiential knowledge through community service learning, as a way of connecting classroom education to career preparation and advisement.
  4. Students will develop the necessary analytical, oral communication, information literacy, and writing skills to prepare them for careers or graduate school in areas related to American Indian Studies.

Community Service Learning

Many courses within the major provide a Community Service Learning (CSL) option, including AIS 205 and AIS 460. This option allows students to integrate classroom education with community participatory learning. Students are enrolled in an AIS core or elective course plus AIS 694  and work with an organization approved by the department for 15 – 45 hours over the course of the semester (depending on the units). AIS 694 is entirely on-line, with requirements that include short written assignments and a book review. Organizations with which students have served in the past include the American Indian Child Resource Center, California Indian Legal Services, The Cultural Conservancy, International Indian Treaty Council, and the Native American Health Center.

Career Outlook

An American Indian Studies major provides a diverse foundation of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a number of careers. American Indian Studies alumni have and can anticipate securing employment in: agricultural and pastoral enterprises; environmental and cultural rights organizations; ethnography and cultural programs; health care and social work; media and communications industries; museums and cultural centers; teaching; tribal businesses and government; the traditional arts; and, federal and state agencies like the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Services, National and State Park Services, Title IX Indian Education Program, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Professors

Barker, Jolivette

Associate Professor

Collins, Nelson, Perea

Lecturers

Casselman, Horowitz, Klasky, Madril, Wallace

AIS 100 Introduction to American Indian Studies (Units: 3)

Introduction to American Indian Studies: the histories, cultures, identities, and contemporary issues of the indigenous American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian groups. Topics range from colonialism, racialization, social formation, identity politics, and environmental issues to law and politics.

Course Attributes:

  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 103 Introduction to Pacific Studies (Units: 3)

Examination of historic and contemporary issues related to Pacific Islander communities in the United States across the Pacific Islander diaspora.
(This course is offered as RRS 103 and AIS 103. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. History
  • D2: Social Sciences: U.S. Hist
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AIS 150 American Indian History in the United States (Units: 3)

The major indigenous cultures residing in the present U.S.; regional groups, structures, world views; major events that took place between the first Americans and new Americans from contact up to 1930.

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. History
  • D2: Social Sciences: U.S. Hist
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 160 Survey of Native California (Units: 3)

Native California from origin to contemporary times. Comparative data, adaptive strategies, and relations between the indigenous populations and European and Anglo-American contact.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice

AIS 162 American Indian Oral Literature (Units: 3)

Traditional Indian literatures: legend, origin stories, pre-contact poetry, oratory, and stories of the people. Forms, styles, images, and themes used by selected tribes to express the experience of their daily lives.

AIS 205 American Indians and U.S. Laws (Units: 3)

The legal history that has developed between the earliest settlers and the existing peoples of the American continent. Legal and social concepts that the settling communities had toward Indian Nations. [CSL may be available]

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. Govt CA State Local Govt
  • D3: Social Sciences: US CA Gov
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 230 Urban Indians (Units: 3)

Comparative examination of American Indian experiences in urban areas, in distinction from reservation and rural life.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 235 American Indians: Image and Issues in the Mass Media (Units: 3)

Recurring images and treatment of American Indians, especially in film, television, advertising, popular literature, and commercial arts. Cultural, economic, social, and political forces that influence image and artistic expression.

Course Attributes:

  • C1: Arts
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 300 American Indian Studies Research Methodologies (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, AIS 100 (may be taken concurrently), ENG 214 or equivalent.

Overview of social scientific and literary theories/methods useful in the gathering and study of data on historical and contemporary American Indian nations, tribal groups, communities, individuals, and literature. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AIS 310 American Indian Religion and Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Religious and philosophical aspects of the lifestyles of certain plains tribes in what is now called the U.S. Ancient religion, visions, and deity structures and how they have survived and have been modified by the impact of European cultures.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AIS 320 American Indian Music (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: AIS 100 or consent of instructor.

Relationships among music, cultural perspectives, and collective and individual selves of American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 325 American Indian Art (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Contemporary and comparative examination of American Indian art, including American Indian theories of art and connections of art with other forms of cultural expression such as novels, poetry, songs, dances, and oral histories.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 330 American Indian Law (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Native epistemologies, worldviews, social structures, and institutions relating to customary or "traditional" law, governance, justice, and ethics; overview of customary perspectives and practices; examination of contemporary revitalization efforts to restructure colonial paradigms of Native governance.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 350 Black-Indians in the Americas (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examines factors impacting on multiracial identity formation among Native communities throughout the Americas with a specific focus on Black-Indians; explores concepts and theories regarding blood quantum, sovereignty, and land rights, and the social, legal, and political understanding of mixed-race Native Americans.
(This course is offered as AIS 350, AFRS 350, and LTNS 355. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AIS 360 Modern American Indian Authors (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent (may be taken concurrently).

Literatures of the native peoples of North American; comparison of oral and written literature, indigenous, and Western knowledge systems through different forms and forms and functions of literacy; examination of literature, narrative, oratory, poetry, short stories, and contemporary novels recorded and written by Indians from the mid 1850's through contemporary times. Changing literary forms, methods of recordings, celebrating and reaffirming 19th- and 20th-century Indian life.

Course Attributes:

  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AIS 400 American Indian Education (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Content, curriculum, and structure of education in reservation and off-reservation schools. Problems, goals, innovative restructuring, proposals for future.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AIS 410 Perspectives of Native California Indians (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Cultural and historical perspective of California Indians. Contemporary problems, issues, and developments involving American Indians, both urban and rural.

Course Attributes:

  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Environmental Sustainability

AIS 420 Native Genders and Feminism (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Native genders and feminist theories, methods, and activism as developed within the United States and Canada with an overview of the field(s) with a focus on k and emergent scholarship and political issues.
(This course is offered as AIS 420 and WGS 420. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 440 Native Sexualities and Queer Discourse (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

A comparative, interdisciplinary, socio-historical analysis of Native sexualities and gender constructions from indigenous centered perspectives; examination of the complexity of Native sexualities, gender formations, and queer indigenous identity movements.
(This course is offered as AIS 440, SXS 440, and WGS 440. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AIS 450 American Indian Science (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

American Indian sciences, theory and practice, traditional herbology, agricultural and environmental sciences, methods of food production, preservation, and preparation. Indian architectural modes and thermal clothing used by tribes from six regions of North America.

AIS 460 Power and Politics in American Indian History (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Modern political and social issues arising from U.S. American Indian relations: land, water, civil, and tribal rights with underlying historical and attitudinal differences behind these problems. [CSL may be available]

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. History
  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 470 American Indian Ethnicity: Problems in Identity (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, AIS 100, AIS 150, or consent of instructor.

Examination of ethnicity focusing on the history and theory surrounding American Indian tribal and Pan-Indian identity formations within the nation-state and reservation contexts.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 490 Ancestors or Data? Culture, Conflict, and NAGPRA (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Political struggles surroundings the creation and implementation of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Analysis of the law, impact of recent court decisions, and specific focus on cultural conflicts related to the concept of knowledge.
(This course is offered as AIS 490, ANTH 490, and SOC 491. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

AIS 500 Language and Cultural Systems of North American Indians (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: AIS 100 or consent of instructor.

Relationship between American Indian language and culture, including topics and skills related to language learning and the historical conditions of cultural retention and revitalization efforts.
(This course is offered as AIS 500 and ANTH 500. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

AIS 520 Before the Wilderness: American Indian Ecology (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examines the environmental thought, ecological worldviews, and resource management practices of North American native peoples; reviews how European and American colonists justified the expropriation of native lands, the different perceptions of "land" and its connections to major ecological and cultural change.

AIS 535 American Indian Film (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, ENG 214 or equivalent.

Examines how Native peoples have used film as a means of reclaiming and representing their histories, cultures, and identities. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 550 American Indians in Contemporary U.S. History (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Overview of the historical lived realities of major indigenous cultures and people residing within the present day boundaries of the United States from 1930 through 2000. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. History
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 560 Modern Creative and Performing Arts (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: AIS 100 or consent of instructor.

Individual and group performance of creative and performing arts in American Indian communities. Fine art, oral poetry, dramatic modes, and media. Adaptation of traditional modes to modern situations.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AIS 610 Native Americans and Museums (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

A historical overview of the relationship between American Indians and the museums that house and display their cultural patrimony--questions of historical and cultural representation, rights of tribal communities, exhibition images, and representations of American Indians in museums are explored.

AIS 680 American Indian Studies Senior Seminar (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: AIS 300, AIS 694.

Directed guidance leading to the completion of a senior research project based on intensive study of a topic or problem related to American Indian peoples. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

AIS 681 Genetics, Biotechnology, and the Politics of Difference (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; ENG 214 or equivalent.

Employs feminist science studies, critical race theory, and indigenous studies to analyze how the life sciences conceptualize, define, and study human differences. Considers how feminist insights into the social effects of genetics and biotechnology can influence scientific practice and discourse.
(This course is offered as WGS 681 and AIS 681. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

AIS 685 Projects in the Teaching of American Indian Studies (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing and consent of instructor.

Academic service learning practicum/internship experience as an undergraduate instructional aide. Participation in the teaching of a regular instructionally-related class. Limited to undergraduate students only. (Students may earn a maximum of 4 units toward the baccalaureate degree for any course(s) numbered 685 regardless of discipline.)

AIS 694 Community Service Learning (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor; must be taken concurrently with any AIS course offering opportunity for community service learning.

Community service learning to be taken with any AIS course that supports community service learning. May be repeated for a total of 6 units. [CSL may be available]

AIS 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Supervised, individual study of a particular problem in American Indian studies. Student may select the supervisor and must state the problem, the method of data gathering, and the method of data analysis. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.

AIS 701 Seminar in American Indian Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Issues in the study of American Indians: understanding of the Indian tribes and nations as sovereign political entities; political, economic, and social developments of self-determination and its implications for Indian tribes.