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Native America since 1840


This course is an interdisciplinary survey of American Indian history covering expansion into the trans-Mississippi West in the mid-nineteenth century through the beginning of the twenty-first century. We will learn how Native people have survived the incorporation of their homelands into the United States, and we will focus on key reasons explaining cultural continuity despite change over time. Likewise, we will seek to understand the "big picture" of Indigenous North America, but we will not attempt to create a "master narrative" that summarizes the stories of all Native peoples. Rather, because we take cultural and experiential diversity as our starting point and recognize that what brings Native American people together today is not a monolithic past or a uniform present, we will draw comparisons among the Indigenous nations of the United States, including rural and urban communities and Alaska and Hawaii. Our goal is a nuanced appreciation for the range of experiences and not a simplistic chronology. We will cultivate awareness of the values and ethics of Indigenous civilizations by learning about the range of ways that Native peoples have responded to attempts to assimilate them and are currently revitalizing their cultures.

Satisfies the Western history (European & US) requirement in the History major.
Satisfies a requirement in the History minor.
Satisfies an Historical Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.