Amer.Ind.Cultures &Worldview

Instructor: Mark Freeland, Ph D

Course Synopsis

This course provides a particular methodological approach to understanding cross-cultural difference as applied to American Indian and Indigenous peoples.  We will develop this methodology with a critical understanding of worldview as a means to comprehend four underlying logics of culture: land, time, relationships to life and a methodological lens for understanding that life.  These logics provide a grounding for developing a cogent understanding of American Indian and Indigenous cultures on their own terms .  From this place of understanding we will then show how these logics play out in Indigenous ideologies, institutions and everyday actions.

Course Overview

The colonization of the Americas, and indeed of the rest of the world, perpetuated a lie that eurowestern culture provides a universal framework of knowledge that can effectively comprehend the totality of existence.  This lie has worked to erase the reality of Indigenous peoples throughout the colonial process.  To authentically come to any type of understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures, a different theoretical and methodological framework of knowledge must be learned develop the ability to see cultures that are oriented around fundamentally different logics orienting ourselves to the world.  This course will engage that process and apply this different framework of knowledge to American Indian peoples, primarily the Anishinaabeg of chi gumeeng (the upper Great Lakes).  Through classroom discussions of theoretical, practical and narrative works by Anishinaabeg authors, the students will be able to develop the skill of understanding deep cultural difference. 

Course Objectives

By the end of the semester, the students will be able to:
1. Identify four primary logics associated with worldview and apply those frameworks to culture

2. Analyze the distinct roles of worldview, ideology, institutions, and every action in a theory of culture

3. Evaluate the efficacy of a decolonial practice associated with an Indigenous community.

 In this course you will write two short (600-800 word) essays analyzing topics discussed early in the course.  The first one will be covering worldview and religion and will be due Sunday June 27.  The second one will cover Aanishinaabe Gikendaasowin and kinship systems and will be due Sunday July 11.  The final essay will have several options to engage in a substantive project integrating the course material and will be due Friday August 13.  

Jun 12, 2021SatWeek 1due by 05:59AM
Jun 16, 2021WedWorldview: Land and Timedue by 05:59AM
Jun 18, 2021FriWeek Two Discussion Optiondue by 05:59AM
Jun 20, 2021SunWeek 2 Discussion Optiondue by 05:59AM
Jun 23, 2021WedWorldview: Life and Balancedue by 05:59AM
Jun 26, 2021SatWeek 3 Discussion Optiondue by 05:59AM
Jun 28, 2021MonWorldview Essaydue by 05:59AM
Jun 30, 2021WedAnishinaabe-gikendaasowindue by 05:59AM
Jul 07, 2021WedColonization and Decolonization in an Anishinaabe contextdue by 05:59AM
Jul 14, 2021WedNarrativedue by 05:59AM