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CHID 480 A: Special Topics: Advanced Study Of The History Of Ideas

Indigenous Knowledge Visualization

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
MGH 287
Miranda Belarde-Lewis

Syllabus Description:

CHID 480 A

Indigenous Knowledge Visualization:

Exploring Cultural Strengths Through Native Arts and Culture

Winter 2015 | MGH 287 | MW 10:30 – 12:20


This class begins with the inter-related concepts of indigenous knowledge, bounded space and knowledge visualization. We will then examine a variety of Native arts, exploring the historical uses and the layering of indigenous knowledge embodied in various forms. We will also consider the implications for expressing cultural health of Native communities and the role economics plays in the tendency of perpetuation - and privileging - of some forms of Native expression over others.


Class Schedule


Section 1: Indigenous Knowledge Systems


Jan 5:              Introductions and Expectations


Jan 7:              Field trip to the Burke Museum to view and tour “Here and Now” Exhibit (meet in the Burke lobby) 

Reading: Bounded Space; A Matrix for Thought – Cordova, Viola Faye. How it is: the Native American philosophy of VF Cordova. University of Arizona Press, 2007. Matrix A Context for Thought.pdf

  Bounded Space.pdf

Jan 12:           Alaska Native Knowledge Systems; Winter Counts and contemporary ledger art   Barnhardt, Ray, and Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley. “Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 36, no. 1 (March 2005): 8-23.


Thornton, Russell. "A Rosebud Reservation winter count, circa 1751-1752 to 1886-1887." Ethnohistory 49.4 (2002): 723-735. thornton (2002) wintercounts in Rosebud.pdf

Jan 14:            Guest Speaker – Dr. Cheryl Metoyer “Systems of Knowledge”

Reading: Clara Sue Kidwell "Systems of Knowledge" in American in 1492: The World of Indian Peoples before the Arrival of Columbus. Ed by Alvin M. Josephy and Frederick Hoxie. New York, Vintage Books. 1993. pp kidwell.pdf


Section 2:  knowledge visualization


Jan 19             NO CLASS – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 21             News Article Due in class

Knowledge Visualization –

Reading: Eppler, M. J., & Burkhard, R. A. (2008). Knowledge Visualization. In M. Jennex (Ed.),Knowledge Management: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 781-793). Burkhard (2004) info and knowledge viz.pdf


Section 3: Examples of knowledge visualization in Native communities


Jan 26:           Zuni Arts as Knowledge System – Belarde-Lewis Belarde-Lewis (2009) A Zuni System of Knowledge.pdf

                        Zuni Map Art Project – Enote Enote (2011) Zuni on Zuni.pdf

Jan 28:            Red, A Haida Manga – Yahgulanaas

Grande (1992) Bill Reid Spirit of Haida Gwaii.pdf Bill Reid and the Spirit of Haida Gwaii – Grande



Feb 2:             Mid- Term Reflections and Outlines due

                        In-class workshop

Feb 4:             Guest Speaker: John Paul Jones, Architect

Reading:  "Foreword" Kevin Gover; John Paul Jones. "Introduction: Remembering the Experience of Past Generations" in The Land Has Memory: Indigenous Knowledge, Native Landscapes, and the National Museum of the American Indian." Ed by Duane Blue Spruce and Tanya Thrasher. 2008. LandHasMemory.pdf


Feb 9:      Reading: Daisy Sewid-Smith.  “Interpreting Cultural Symbols of the People from the Shore” in Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas." University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC. Ed by Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Jennifer Kramer, and Ki-Ke-in; pp 18-25. Sewid-Smith (2013) People from the Shore.pdf

Feb 11:          Guest Speaker: Mary Jane Ides, MA Candidate, Museology


Reading: Bowechop, Janine, and Patricia Pierce Erikson. 2005. "Forging Indigenous Methodologies on Cape Flattery: The Makah Museum as a Center of Collaborative Research." American Indian Quarterly 29, no. 1/2: 263-273. Bowechop & Erickson (2005) Indig Methods in Neah Bay.pdf


Section 4: Politics of Representation


Feb 16:           NO CLASS – Presidents Day

Feb 18:          Guiding question (be ready to write a short answer to this in class): How do we 'eat the other' when we consume Native art?

“Eating the Other” – bell hooks in "Black Looks: Race andRepresentation." Boston, MA: South End (1992). hooks (1992) eating the other.pdf

bell hooks_eating the other.pptx


Feb 23:          DUE ON MONDAY 2/23/15

Look closely at this chart harm to viewer and subject.pdf what can you add to each column? tell me what you're adding and why you think consumption of the Other harms both the consumed and the consumer. 1-2 pages, typed, 12 pt font. due in class on Monday.

Read for class: Mithlo, Nancy M. (2004). “We Have All Been Colonized” 1: Subordination and Resistance on a Global Arts Stage. Visual Anthropology, 17(3-4), 229-245. Mithlo (2004) Subordination and Resistance.pdf

Guiding question: How are artists resisting through art? Does this relate to the piece you're researching? How else have we seen subordination and resistance on a global scale?

Feb 25:          

Grant, Daniel. “What Is Indian Art and Who Can Sell It?” Consumers’

Research Magazine 85, no. 8 (August 2002): 15–17. Grant (2002) What is Indian Art and who can sell it.pdf

Mithlo, Nancy Marie. 2012. "Guest editor's Introduction". Wicazo Sa Review. 27 (1). Mithlo (2012) Curatorial Practice and Native Art.pdf




Mar 2:             Guest Speaker – Preston Singletary, Glass Artist

Mar 4:             Conclusion      finale.pptx      



Mar 9:             Final Presentations

                       Sergio Sanchez

                       Christine You

                       Tony Dunlap

                        Kevin Baron


Mar 11:          Final Presentations - PUBLIC DAY - There may be people other then your classmates in the room on this day only

                       Trent Cayce

                       Kalani Young

                       Brianne Baird

                       Zach Curtis

                       Crystal Purcell


Mar 16:          Final Presentations

                       Joey Liao

                       Synon Allen

                       Kyle Williams

                       Mayowa Aina

                       Maylee Lim

                       Matt Fry

Mar 16:          Final Papers Due (In Class)

                       If you would like your final paper back, please bring a self-addressed, stamped legal 

                       envelope so I can mail it back to you.

 COURSE EVALUATIONS: March 13 - March 20.

Please fill out the course evaluations. They are only online.

Evaluation URL:
The evaluation opens Mar 13, 2015 and closes on Mar 20, 2015.



Additional Details:

This class will examine a variety of Native arts, architecture and other forms of expression that each explore the historical uses and the layering of Indigenous knowledges. The knowledges embodied in the various forms have implications for expressing cultural health, political views and the realities of Native communities. The role played by economics and the tendency of stereotypical perpetuation and privileging some forms of Native expression over others will also be a topic of exploration. 

Catalog Description: 
Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework with an interdisciplinary perspective. Satisfies the Gateways major/minor requirement. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:11am