ANTHRO 1490 Something Else: Material Revolutions in Indigenous Activism





Zoe Eddy
Tuesdays, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET


This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of how North American Indigenous communities, particularly women and two-spirit people, navigate activist movements through material culture and media. We will examine Indigenous material culture across various timelines and focus specifically on trajectories of objects of resistance. Students will learn how to approach material objects from a historical perspective as well as how to consider these objects in their current cultural context. In addition to scholarly texts, we will use literature, visual and performing arts, popular media, and oral traditions to inform our classroom conversations. Classes will be framed around a material object, often from a museum collection, and a contextualizing piece of alternative media.

Course themes prioritize issues relevant to Indigenous feminist movements and contemporary decolonial practices. These issues include but are not limited to histories of genocide and violence, forced sterilization, residential schools and foster care systems, sovereignty and environmentalism, domestic and/or sexual violence, and the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. While the course contextualizes and details these issues, curricular emphasis is placed on resistance, healing, and community movements within their cultural contexts.

While this course includes all genders, primary emphasis will be placed on women and two-spirit people. Additionally, while this course focuses on Indigenous movements, students are welcome and encouraged to focus on parallel movements relevant to their own research and interests.

Due to course themes, participants are asked to engage in respectful and thoughtful conversation. Please come to class ready to make space for a diversity of perspectives and experiences. Finally, this course contains themes of sexual and gender violence, mental health, disease and death, colonial violence, and racism; while content warnings will be issued periodically, students are encouraged to talk to the professor if they have specific questions about course content.