Fall 2017

A History of the Native Book:  Uncovering Indigenous Intellectual Trade-routes

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-129


Patricia J. Bachand (Section 01)
Mike Kelly (Section 01)
Maemaeolehua E. Matsumoto (Section 01)
Kiara M. Vigil (Section 01)


“A History of the Native Book” takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying Native American and Indigenous peoples’ histories, cultures, literatures, and political movements by exposing students to several critical fields of inquiry. These include: Native American History, Public History, American History, Book History, and Literary Studies. Students immerse themselves in published materials written by Native American authors from the seventeenth century to the present by doing archival research in the Kim-Wait/Pablo Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection (or KWE for short). In addition, we read secondary sources by Native Studies scholars to add context to our reading of KWE texts. Working in small groups and individually, students practice and hone both research and writing skills. As a class, students collaborate on a Digital Humanities project to produce new understandings about the significance of Native authorship, publishing, and writing in regards to settler-colonialism. This final project takes the form of digital exhibition that will be accessible to the public. As a First-Year Seminar, students practice writing and reading skills and are introduced to research methods that will be essential in their future studies at Amherst.

Fall semester.  Professor Vigil.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017