American Indian Studies, Program in

Adrian Burgos Jr., Interim Director
1204 W. Nevada, Urbana
PH: (217) 265-9870
http://ais.illinois.edu

American Indian Studies (AIS) prepares students in a range of methodologies, theories, technologies, and teaching approaches that compliments a thorough undergraduate education.

Specifically, an undergraduate minor is designed to assist students in preparing for graduate school or for careers in a variety of pursuits including public and business administration, education, public relations, marketing, politics, and government, especially as they relate to American Indian and Native American constituencies. Career opportunities also exist in agencies such as Indian Health Services, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Bureau of Land Management.

For many, AIS is an ideal minor that presents a critical and intellectual foundation for success in an increasingly challenging world.

Minor in American Indian Studies

American Indian Studies (AIS) is an interdisciplinary program with four subject areas:

  1. Culture, Identity, Ethics, and Community
  2. Sovereignty, Governance, and Politics
  3. Literature, Language, and Performance
  4. Colonialism, Decolonization, and Indigeneity

The courses chosen must form a coherent program of study and be approved by an AIS advisor.

Foundation Courses
AIS 101Intro to Amer Indian Studies3
AIS 102Contemp Issues in Ind Country3
Subject Area Courses
Students must complete 12 hours selected from 3 of the 4 subject areas.12
Culture, Identity, Ethics, and Community
Native Religious Traditions
Lang & Culture Native North Am
American Indians of Illinois
Sovereignty, Governance, and Politics
US Citizenship Comparatively
Encounters in Native America
Native American History
Intro to Federal Indian Policy
Indigenous Governance
Literature, Language, and Performance
Intro to American Indian Lit
Am Indian and Indigenous Film
Politics in Children's Lit
Topics in American Indian Lit
Politics of Popular Culture
Colonialism, Decolonization, and Indigeneity
Indigenous Thinkers
History of Amer Indian Educ
Total Hours18

Only three courses (9 hours total) at the 100-level may be counted toward the minor.  Students also are required to complete two courses (6 hours) at the 300- or 400-level.  These advanced course credits must be distinct from credit earned for the student’s major or another minor

AIS Class Schedule

Courses

AIS 101   Intro to Amer Indian Studies   credit: 3 Hours.

Interdisciplinary introduction surveys the stories, histories, and lands of tribal peoples who became known as "American Indians".
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 102   Contemp Issues in Ind Country   credit: 3 Hours.

Surveys a variety of topics in contemporary American Indian life. Focusing on the modern experience, topics may include law and politics; lands and environment; education; visual arts; languages and literatures; health; social justice; business; treaties; the sacred; gender; sports; decolonization; comparative tribal, Indian and global indigenous concerns.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Social & Beh Sci - Soc Sci
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 140   Native Religious Traditions   credit: 3 Hours.

An interdisciplinary survey of native religious traditions, exploring the breadth and depth of spiritual expression among native people in North America. Assigned readings and class discussions cover a variety of important themes including sacred landscapes, mythic narratives, oral histories, communal identities, tribal values, elder teachings, visionary experiences, ceremonial practices, prayer traditions, and trickster wisdom. Students also consider historic encounters with missionary colonialism and contemporary strategies for religious self-determination. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials and guest speakers.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 165   Lang & Culture Native North Am   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ANTH 165. See ANTH 165.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Cultural Studies - Non-West

AIS 265   Intro to American Indian Lit   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduces students to the study of American Indian literature by focusing on texts by contemporary American Indian novelists, poets, and playwrights. Over the course of the semester, students will consider how indigenous aesthetics shape narrative in addition to examining how American Indian authors engage the legacies of colonization and the histories of their tribal communities through their stories. Same as ENGL 265.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 275   Am Indian and Indigenous Film   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to representations of American Indians and Indigenous peoples in film. Reconstructions of American Indians within the Western genre and more recent reconstructions by Native filmmakers will be considered. Other topics may include the development of an indigenous aesthetic; the role of documentaries and nonfiction films in the history of Native and Indigenous film; the role of commerce in the production of Native films. Same as ENGL 275 and MACS 275.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 277   Encounters in Native America   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as HIST 277. See HIST 277.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 278   Native American History   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as HIST 278. See HIST 278.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 280   Intro to Federal Indian Policy   credit: 3 Hours.

Traces the evolution of U.S. federal law as it pertains to American Indian nations. From the doctrine of discovery, through which European nations asserted control over the lands they claimed, to the processes of reorganization and recognition that have shaped contemporary rights and struggles native nations currently face, this class will interrogate how American Indian nations were transformed into "domestic dependent nations".

AIS 285   Indigenous Thinkers   credit: 3 Hours.

An introduction to the English-language traditions of indigenous intellectuals. Specific topics vary. May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 6 hours. May be repeated in subsequent terms to a maximum of 9 hours.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - Non-West

AIS 288   American Indians of Illinois   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ANTH 288 and HIST 288. See ANTH 288.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 291   Independent Study   credit: 1 to 6 Hours.

Supervised reading and research in American Indian Studies chosen by the student with instructor approval. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in the same or separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: One course in American Indian Studies and consent of instructor.

AIS 295   US Citizenship Comparatively   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as AAS 215, AFRO 215, GWS 215, and LLS 215. See AAS 215.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities ? Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - US Minority

AIS 430   Indigenous Governance   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Indigenous peoples have long and rich traditions of governance and political philosophies that have shaped institutions and informed diplomacies amongst each other and with European nations. This course examines the indigenous governance historically and within contemporary contexts with emphasis on the importance of sovereignty within institutions, education, language revitalization, and cultural resurgence. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200-level American Indian Studies course or consent of instructor.

AIS 451   Politics in Children's Lit   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Students will revisit classic and popular children's books, applying critical theoretical perspectives to texts with the purpose of examining ideologies behind their creation, publication, review, distribution, and consumption. An emphasis will be placed on texts by and about American Indians. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of the Advanced Composition requirement; junior standing or above; or consent of instructor.

AIS 459   Topics in American Indian Lit   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Interdisciplinary seminar on special and advanced topics in American Indian and Indigenous Literatures. Same as ENGL 459. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One year of college literature or consent of instructor.

AIS 461   Politics of Popular Culture   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Concerned with interdisciplinary frameworks that allow us to 'read' popular culture as well as with its actual forms and specific artifacts, this course seeks, first, to grasp how popular culture has legitimized the colonization of American Indian peoples and second, to reflect on the ways in which Indians engage popular culture to assert an anti-oppression politics. Same as MACS 461. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Credit is not given for both AIS 461 and MACS 320 or MDIA 570. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200-level American Indian Studies course or consent of the instructor.

AIS 481   History of Amer Indian Educ   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Students will study various efforts to "civilize" American Indians through US government initiatives and religious churches, as well as educational models developed by tribal entities following passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. Same as EPS 481. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

AIS 490   Adv Topics in Am Ind Studies   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Any course in American Indian Studies; junior standing; or consent of instructor.

AIS 491   Readings in Am Ind Studies   credit: 1 to 8 Hours.

Individual guidance in intensive readings in the theories and practices of the field of American Indian Studies. 1 to 8 undergraduate hours. 1 to 8 graduate hours. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or one course in AIS and consent of instructor.