Native American Religions and Politics

  • Faculty: Dana Lloyd
  • Schedule: Tuesdays/Thursdays 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 270

This course introduces students to American Indian religions and politics. We will think of American Indian religiosity as tied together with a strong sense of place and a long history of oppression. To do so, we will employ an interdisciplinary approach, reading historical, ethnographic, legal, and literary texts about Native American experiences of contact, conquest, genocide, and struggles for religious freedom and land rights. We will discuss political and legal controversies around a 1920s ceremonial Pueblo dance and the relationship between the Ghost Dance and the Red Power Movement; a US Supreme Court case about the ceremonial use of peyote in the Native American Church and an ethnography of Native American Alcoholics Anonymous. We will watch documentary films about various relationships between White Christian Americans and American Indians and ask how Native American experiences and accounts can help us to better understand (and also to criticize) Western religiosity, history, ecology, and politics.