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HIST 2660 Everything You Know about Indians is Wrong: Unlearning Native American History

September 28, 2018

HIST 2660 Everything You Know about Indians is Wrong: Unlearning Native American History (HA-AS) (HB) (HPE) (Also AMST 2660, AIS 2660)

Monday, Wednesday: 9:05-9:55 plus Friday Discussion

Professor Jon Parmenter

One thing many Americans think they know is their Indians: Pocahontas, the First Thanksgiving, fighting cowboys, reservation poverty, and casino riches.  Under our very noses, however, Native American history has evolved into one of the most exciting, dynamic, and contentious fields of inquiry into America's past.  It is now safer to assume, as Comanche historian Paul Chaat Smith has pointed out, that everything you know about Indians is in fact wrong.  Most people have much to "unlearn" about Native American history before true learning can take place.  This course aims to achieve that end by (re)introducing students to key themes and trends in the history of North America's indigenous nations.  Employing an issues-oriented approach, the course stresses the ongoing complexity of Native American societies' engagements with varieties of settler colonialism since 1492 and dedicates itself to a concerted program of myth-busting.  As such, the course will provide numerous opportunities for students to develop their critical thinking and reading skills. (pre-1800)