SPANISH 472 - Indigenous Societies
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Spanish (SPANISH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
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Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
Nine credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399; or two RCLANG 324 and six credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course will focus on indigenous societies in the Americas and how we perceive them today. One of its purposes is to give students an idea of how much we know about some of them but, most of all, how much we ignore. It will also explore the difficult relationship between Western academic disciplines such as Anthropology (physical, cultural, and social), Archaeology, and Historiography, and indigenous peoples of the world. The readings and class discussions will try to explore the ways in which indigeneity was created from said disciplines. In order to do so, we will focus on some recent classic texts that had an enormous impact on the ways in which the non-specialists (that is, the general public) view indigenous peoples today.

We will start by reading Carolyn Dean’s book on material culture in the Andes. Later we will move to read Frank Salomon’s book on the way in which the Khipu tradition in the Andes is kept today in a community not so far from Lima, Peru’s capital. The controversy about ethics prompted by the unfair and sometimes inhuman treatment given to the Yanomami by some anthropologists is recorded and analyzed in Robert Borofsky’s Yanomami. The Fierce Controversy.

At the end of the course we will pass the mike to the indigenous subjects themselves and will try to listen to what they have to say. The books that will close the course are Nuestra arma es nuestra palabra, by Subcomandante Marcos (about the Chiapas, Mexico, insurgent indigenous movement) and Custer Died for Your Sins. An Indian Manifesto, by Vine Deloria Jr.

Texts required:

Carolyn Dean,  A Culture of Stone.

Vine Deloria, Jr, Custer Died for Your Sins.

Subcomandante Marcos, Nuestra arma es nuestra palabra.

Robert Borofsky, Yanomami. The Fierce Controversy.

This course counts toward the Spanish major and as elective credit for the Spanish minor.


SPANISH 472 - Indigenous Societies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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