Spring 2022

Indigenous Studies: Materials and Methods

Listed in: Colloquia, as COLQ-256


Lisa Brooks (Section 01)


In 2013, Amherst College acquired one of the most comprehensive collections of Native American writing in the world – nearly 1,500 books ranging from contemporary fiction and poetry to sermons, political tracts and tribal histories from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This is a living collection; it has since grown to over 3,000 volumes. This seminar offers the opportunity to actively engage the literature of this dynamic collection and contribute original research for a Digital Atlas of Native American Intellectual Traditions, an interface that will enable users to visualize books in the KWE Collection within a network of Native authors and communities, mapped across time and space. This course also offers immersion in Indigenous studies methodologies, for those new to the field and for those who already have significant experience or coursework. Participants will build and develop research skills in collaboration, working closely with scholars and librarians as they engage in archival and digital research, print history, land-based learning, and community-based learning, including faculty-led field trips to local tribal nations. In working on collaborative projects, we will also consider ethical questions regarding the distribution of knowledge, the curation of materials, access to the collections, and community-engaged research.

This course is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Brooks.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Reading, archival research, collaborative research and group work, community engagement, field trips. Opportunities for public presentations and projects are possible. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022