IAH. 211C-003: Culture and History of Indigenous Peoples Instructor

IAH. 211C-003: Culture and History of
Indigenous Peoples
Instructor: Gabriela R. Ríos
416 Baker Hall
[email protected]
Phone: 817-808-3699
Office Hours: T/TH 3-5 pm, or by appointment
Description of Course
Using a cultural rhetorics framework, this course will analyze Latin
American Indigenous rhetorics, focusing on the relationship between writing
and history. In Indigenous Studies, the paradigm of relationality sees the
construction of knowledge as a relational activity—a practice—that is
contingent upon an understanding of community, land/space, non-linear time,
and embodiment. As such, we will bring Indigenous voices, stories, and
practices to the center of our discussions, looking specifically at relationships
between performance rhetorics, material rhetorics, and visual rhetorics. We
will draw from multiple disciplines and theories, and from a range of texts
and practices in order to understand how relationality functions as a way of
knowing that bears important implications for current, historicized global
social, environmental, and political concerns.
Goals of Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities
Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities at MSU seeks to assist students
to become more familiar with ways of knowing in the arts and humanities
and to be more knowledgeable and capable in a range of intellectual and
expressive abilities. IAH courses encourage students to engage critically with
their own society, history, and culture(s); they also encourage students to
learn more about the history and culture of other societies. They focus on key
ideas and issues in human experience; encourage appreciation of the roles of
knowledge and values in shaping and understanding human behavior;
emphasize the responsibilities and opportunities of democratic citizenship;
highlight the value of the creative arts of literature, theater, music, and arts;
and alert us to important issues that occur among peoples in an increasingly
interconnected, interdependent world.
Student Learning Goals
 Familiarity with contemporary Indigenous rhetorical theories and
 Understanding of the relationship between material, visual, and
performed rhetorics
 Ability to identify and engage Indigenous rhetorics
 Develop skills to analyze how disciplines help to construct bodies of
knowledge with relationship to Indigeneity
 Identify important ethical issues related to self, society, and technology
and to discuss them in a thoughtful, informed, and respectful manner
 Attain basic skills for analyzing culture(s) with attention to historical,
social, and ethical differences in order to promote knowledge,
understanding, and respect for the relative values of others
Language Practice
This course will include a daily language component. The first 15 minutes of
each class will be dedicated to learning/practicing a Huastecan dialect of
Nahuatl that is spoken in Vera Cruz, Mexico. You will not be tested or graded
on your knowledge or acquisition of Nahuatl, but you are expected to fully
engage in the language activities for each class meeting.
Texts & Materials
Ascher, Robert and Marcia Ascher. “How to Make a Quipu.” Code of the
Quipu: Study in Media, Mathematics, and Culture. Ann Arbor: U of
Michigan P, 1981. 13-35. (this is just for the instructions for how
to make a khipu, and I will post these pages onto Angel)
Boone, Elizabeth Hill. Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the
Aztecs and Mixtecs. Austin: U of Texas P, 2000.
Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin
America. New York: Norton, 2011, third edition.
Díaz Gisele and Alan Rodgers. The Codex Borgia: A Full-Color Restoration of
the Ancient Mexican Manuscript. New York: Dover, 1993.
Leon-Portilla. Miguel. The Broken Spears 2007 Revised Edition: The Aztec
Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.
Morales Aurora Levins. Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History
of Puertorriqueñas. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.
Films (in class)
Even the Rain, Directed by Iciar Bollain
La Mission, Directed by Peter Bratt]
Essays (On Angel)
Alarcón, Francisco. “El Poder de La Palabra/The Power of the Word: Toward
a Nahuatl/Mestizo Consciousness.” Original Instructions: Indigenous
Teachings for a Sustainable Future. Melssa K. Nelson, ed. Rochester,
Vermont: Bear and Company, 2008. 265-287.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” Borderlands/La Frontera:
The NewMestiza. Second Edition. New York: Aunt Lute, 1999.
---. “Tlilli, Tlaplalli: The Path of the Red and Black Ink.”
Borderlands/La Frontera: The NewMestiza. Second Edition. New
York: Aunt Lute, 1999. 87-97.
Boone, Elizabeth Hill and Walter D. Mignolo, eds. “Introduction: Writing and
Recording Knowledge.” Writing Without Words: Alternative Literacies
in Mesoamerica and the Andes. New York: Duke UP, 1994. 1-26.
Brandenburg, Tracy. In Search of the Invisible World: Uncovering
Mesoamerican Rhetoric in Contemporary Mexico. Rhetorics of the
Americas, 3114 BCE to 2012CE. Damián Baca and Victor Villanueva,
eds. New York: Palgrave, 2010. 153-167.
Forest, Ohki Siminé. “Return of the Ancient Council Ways: Indigenous
Survival in Chiapas.” Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a
Sustainable Future. Melssa K. Nelson, ed. Rochester,Vermont: Bear
and Company, 2008. 229-238.
Leyva, Yolanda Chavez. “In ixtli in yóllotl/ a face and a heart: Listening to
the Ancestors.” ASAIL 15.3&4 (2004). 96-127.
Martinez, Dennis, Enrique Salmón, and Melissa K. Nelson. “Restoring
Indigenous History and Culture to Nature.” Original Instructions:
Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future. Melssa K. Nelson, ed.
Rochester, Vermont: Bear and Company, 2008. 88-115.
Murphy, Jaqueline Shea. “Introduction: Dance as Document.” The People
Have Never Stopped Dancing: Native American Modern Dance
Histories. U of Minnesota P, 2007.
Miner, Dylan. “’When They Awaken’: Indigeneity, Miscegenation, and
Anticolonial Visuality.” Rhetorics of the Americas, 3114 BCE to
2012CE. Damián Baca and Victor Villanueva, eds. New York:
Palgrave, 2010. 169-195.
Quispe-Agnoli, Rocio. “Spanish Scripts Colonize the Image: Inca Visual
Rhetorics.” Rhetorics of the Americas, 3114 BCE to 2012CE. Damián
Baca and Victor Villanueva, eds. New York: Palgrave, 2010. 41-61.
Rivera, Julio Valladolid. “Dancing for the Apus: Andean Food and Farming.”
Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future.
Melssa K. Nelson, ed. Rochester,Vermont: Bear and Company, 2008.
Smith, Andrea. “Against the Law: Indigenous Feminism and the Nation
---. “Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide”
Spurr, David. “”Negation.” The Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse in
Journalism, Travel Writing, and Imperial Administration. Durham.
N.C.: Duke UP, 1993. 92-108
Additional Materials
Knitting Needle *
 items are optional
Major Projects:
 Khipu Project (30%)
This will be a semester-long project in which you will
journal/document your experiences with making and
learning about khipu in comparison to other digital media
Dig/Viz Rhetoric Project (30%)
Either individually or as a group, students will design a
digital/visual (perhaps non-alphabetic) project that relates
to hir/their individual disciplines and meets course
Response Papers (25%):
 You will write a total of 10, 500-word response papers
throughout the course. Some of these will be geared toward
your Khipu Project.
Class Participation (15%):
 Attendance is a requirement for this course, as is
maintaining a steady engagement with class discussions and
participating in any in-class activities. Please the university’s
attendance policy for excused absences.
All work must be completed in order for you receive a passing grade
in the course. This is a writing intensive course, and so there will be a
strong focus on revision, and in practicing writing on a daily basis. Thus, your
response papers will be mostly nonpunitive, and will serve as spaces for
practicing revision. Grades for major projects will be determined using a
rubric that you will be given in advance, and that I will use to mark your
grades for you.
A Statement on Collegiality
It is important for all of us to foster and maintain the classroom as a safe
space for dialogue and learning. Rude, disruptive, or otherwise dismissive
behavior/speech will not be tolerated. No pejorative language—intentional or
unintentional—is allowed in the classroom. Please see
http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/ or http://www.r-word.org/.
Academic Integrity
In accordance with MSU’s policies on “Protection of Scholarship and Grades”
and “Integrity of Scholarship and Grades,” students are expected to honor
principles of truth and honesty in their academic work. In addition, Academic
honesty entails, among other things, that students will not plagiarize. This
means (1) students will not submit someone else’s work as their own (e.g.
they will not submit another student’s paper etc., nor will they hand in a
paper copied from the web or another published source). Academic honesty
also means students (2) will not knowingly permit another student to copy
and submit their work as that student’s own and (3) will not use
unacknowledged quotations or paraphrases as part of their work. As provided
by university policy, such academic dishonesty or plagiarism may be
penalized by a failing grade on the assignment or for the course. Failure in a
course as a result of academic dishonesty will also result in written
notification to the student’s academic dean of the circumstances. Additional
discussion of cheating or academic dishonesty is available on the
Ombudsman’s webpage at
 https://www.msu.edu/~ombud/academic-integrity/index.html
Your attendance at every class meeting is required. You are allowed 3
absences; save these for illness, major religious holidays, funerals, court
dates, job interviews, etc. For each additional absence beyond 3, your final
grade will be lowered by .25. Should a medical or family emergency arise that
will require your absence beyond 3 classes, please notify me as soon as
possible. You will be expected to provide documentation from a physician or
hospital and to make up missed work. Students who will use one or more of
their absences to observe a major religious holiday may make up missed
course work only if they make arrangements in advance with me. If a conflict
arises between your obligation to attend class and an obligation to the
University, it is your responsibility to see me in advance in order to hand in
all assignments on time, and to make up work missed during your absence.
Note to Students with Disabilities
It is Michigan State University’s policy to not discriminate against students
with documented disabilities in its educational programs. If you have a
disability-related need for accommodations in this course, contact your
instructor and the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. The RCDP
is located in 120 Bessey Hall. For an appointment with a counselor, call 3539642 (voice) or 355-1293 (TTY). Instructors should be notified as early in the
semester as possible.
Resources for Students
 The Writing Center offers students an opportunity to meet
with one-on-one with a consultant while they are engaged in
the process of writing class papers and other documents. It
also offers consulting on digital writing projects and a
Grammar Hotline. The Writing Center is located in 300
Bessey Hall. For information about appointments and
satellite locations, see http://writing.msu.edu/.
The ESL Writing Lab will assist international students with
all aspects of their work in IAH courses, including
understanding of course readings to be used in writing
papers, planning and revising papers, and proofreading, See
http://elc.msu.edu/esl_lab for more information and
instructions on making appointments.
The Learning Resource Center, located in 202 Bessey Hall,
offers academic support seminars and workshops, consults
with students about study and learning styles and time
management, and provides one-on-one tutoring in such areas
as critical reading. For a more detailed description of LRC
services and hour, see http://lrc.msu.edu/.
Online SIRS Evaluations
Michigan State University takes seriously the opinion of students in the
evaluation of the effectiveness of instruction and has implemented the
Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) to gather student feedback
(https://sirsonline.msu.edu/). This course utilizes the online SIRS system, and
you will receive an e-mail during the last two weeks of class asking you to fill
out the SIRS web form at your convenience. In addition, participation in the
online SIRS system involves grade sequestration, which means that the final
grade for this course will not be accessible on STUINFO during the week
following the submission of grades for this course unless the SIRS online
form has been completed. Alternatively, you have the option on the SIRS
website to decline to participate in the evaluation of the course. I hope,
however, that you will be willing to give me your frank and constructive
feedback so that I may teach the course even better in the future. If you
access the online SIRS website and complete the online SIRS form, or decline
to participate, you will receive the final grade in this course as usual once
final grades are submitted.
Daily Schedule
This is a flexible schedule that may be slightly altered in order to
accommodate class needs, time, etc.
Mon. 1/9
No Class
Weds. 1/11
Introductions/ syllabus/ “How to Make a Khipu” (in
Mon. 1/16
MLK Holiday
Weds. 1/18
Blood & Fire: “First Stop, The Present” &
Red and Black: “History and Historians”
Mon. 1/23
Weds. 1/25
Film Day, La Mission
Response Paper #1 Due
Red and Black: “Configuring the Past”
Boone & Mignolo, “Intro to Writing Without Words”
Response Paper #2 Due
Mon. 1/30
Blood &Fire: “Colonial Crucible”
Martinez, et. al. “Restoring Indigenous History”
Weds. 2/1
Leyba, “Listening to the Ancestors”
Broken Spears: Chapters 1-5
Response Paper #3 Due
Mon. 2/6
Red and Black: “Writing in Images”
Quispe-Agnoli, “Spanish Scripts Colonize..”
Response Paper #4 Due (over Khipu)
Weds. 2/8
Broken Spears: Chapters 6-12
Mon. 2/13
Spurr, “Negation/Language”
Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”
Weds. 2/15
Mon. 2/20
Weds. 2/22
Mon. 2/27
Howes, “Comics Lessons from Rhetoric Histories”
Anzaldúa, “Tlilli Tlapalli/Path of the Red & Black”
Response Paper #5 Due
Blood & Fire: “Nationalism” and “Reaction”
(Khipu in class demo)
Film Day: Tambien La Lluvia/Even the Rain
Response Paper #6 Due
Remedios: “Abuelas”
Smith, “Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide”
Weds. 2/29
Remedios: “Bisabuelas”
Forest, “Ancient Council Ways”
Mon. 3/12
Weds. 3/14
Mon. 3/19
Remedios: “Huracán”
Remedios: “Jenibre”
Remedios: “Parteras”
Response Paper #7 Due (Khipu)
Weds. 3/21
Mon. 3/26
Film Day: Precious Knowledge Documentary
Rivera, “Dancing for the Apus”
Murphy, “Dance as Document”
Weds. 3/28
Remedios: “Derrumbe”
Response Paper #8 Due (Khipu)
Mon. 4/2
Broken Spears: Chapter 13-14
Blood & Fire: “Independence”
Weds. 4/4
Broken Spears: Chapter 16
Blood & Fire: “Postcolonial Blues”
Mon. 4/9
Film Day: The Garden
Weds. 4/11
Mon. 4/16
Weds. 4/18
Mon. 4/23
Weds. 4/25
Red and Black: “Histories with a Purpose”
Smith, “Land and the Nation-State”
Response Paper #9 Due
Smith, “Rape of the Land”
Newspaper Article: “Water Settlement Protects
Tribal Rights”
Newspaper Article: “Hopi and Navajo Leaders
Respond to Senator Kyle’s Editorial”
Full Text SB 2109 OR Youtube video of
presentation before Congress
Miner, “When They Awaken..”
Response Paper #10 Due
Fri. 4/27
Tues. 5/1
Presentations (Final)
3-5 p.m.
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