Undergraduate Course: Indigenous Futures: Knowledge, Ecology and Politics (REST10059)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores contemporary themes related to religion, ecology, knowledge, well-being, sovereignty, festivals, performance, media, activism, gender, customary law, human rights, and the role of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
Centred on indigenous peoples and their relation to community governance, nation-states, state institutions, and international bodies (such as the UN), this course explores contemporary themes related to religion, ecology, knowledge, well-being, sovereignty, festivals, performance, media, activism, gender, customary law, human rights, and the role of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
The course will begin with an introduction to some of the pertinent issues surrounding indigenous peoples, their denigration and suppression by colonial forces, and the ongoing challenges faced by them with the formation of numerous modern nation-states that continually question the legitimacy of their rights.
The course will examine the way these issues are shaped in conversation with the global flow of people, capital, and ideas. Where possible, the course will also invite (via video feed) academic experts, advocates for indigenous peoples' rights, and indigenous voices from a range of positions, to answer student's queries about pertinent political and social issues. These engagements will help inform, question, challenge, educate, and engage students in their own course work.
Student Learning Experience Information
The course will be delivered through a weekly two-hour class. The first hour will be a lecture that focuses on the key theme for the week (sometimes involving visitors speakers) and the second hour will be student-led seminar that will engage with the readings assigned in conversation with case studies pertinent to the theme.
Assessment is through 2 essays: (1): 2,000 word essay (40%); and (2): a final 3500-word essay (60%). Formative feedback will be offered on oral presentations and essay plans.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students are welcome.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Essay (2000 words) 40%
Students will choose an essay question that will cover one of the thematic issues discussed in class. They must demonstrate a strong understanding of key concepts and the ability to analyse a variety of sources.
Essay (3500 words) 60%
Students will choose a case study (choices will be provided or independently chosen and discussed in class), and will work closely with the CO to plan and analyse the essay. Week 11 will provide them with a further opportunity to share their work with peers and gather feedback.
||Students will be required to do one oral presentation during the seminar hour and will be provided with an opportunity for formative feedback (by email or meeting after class) and checking on comprehension and engagement. Engagement with the seminar readings will help with critical thinking, contextual analysis, and knowledge of the themes, particularly for their essays. Students will also be encouraged to submit an essay plan for feedback, particularly for the second essay.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Student will gain an understanding of key concepts such as knowledge, ecology, religion and politics and an ability to analyse these in light of the broader comparative scholarly literature on indigenous peoples.
- Students will acquire a critical ability to articulate the significant course themes through engagement with secondary sources and scholarly debates and relate them to historical and contemporary case studies.
- Students will engage with different media ¿ such as written literature, art, music, oral testimonies, video documentaries, social media, newspapers (including online news), events related to protests, public debate and an ability to understand the way indigenous peoples deliberate on issues through people¿s councils, consultations, community meetings, and customary laws.
- Students need to demonstrate an ability to work independently for the second essay that will involve engagement with a case study, linking it with primary and secondary sources and showing an understanding of the context and its purpose.
- Students will be able to construct lucid and critical arguments, especially in written work.
Chidester, David. 1996. Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.
Clifford, James. 2013. Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Cox, James L. 2007. From Primitive to Indigenous: The Academic Study of Indigenous Religions. Aldershot: Ashgate.
de la Cadena, Marisol and Orin Starn (eds.). 2007. Indigenous Experience Today. Oxford: Berg.
Huarcaya, Sergio Miguel. 2015. ¿Performativity, Performance, and Indigenous Activism in Ecuador and the Andes¿. Comparative Studies in Society and History 57 (3): 806-837.
Johnson, Greg. 2014. ¿Off the Stage, on the Page: On the Relationship between Advocacy and Scholarship¿. Religion 44 (2): 289-302.
Johnson, Greg and Siv Ellen Kraft (eds.). 2017. Brill Handbook of Indigenous Religion(s). Leiden: Brill.
Johnson, Paul C. 2002. ¿Migrating Bodies, Circulating Signs: Brazilian Candomblé, the Garifuna of the Caribbean, and the Category of Indigenous Religions¿. History of Religions 41 (4): 301¿327.
Kuokkanen, Rauna. 2019. Restructuring Relations: Indigenous Self-Determination, Governance and Gender. New York: Oxford University Press.
Olupona, Jacob K. (ed.). 2004. Beyond Primitivism: Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity. London: Routledge.
Porsanger, Jelena. 2004. ¿An Essay about Indigenous Methodology¿. Nordlit 8 (1): 105-120.
Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books.
Tafjord, Bjørn Ola. 2013. ¿Indigenous Religion(s) as an Analytical Category¿. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 25 (3): 221-243.
Tsing, Anna L. 2009. ¿Adat/Indigenous: Indigeneity in Motion¿. In Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon, edited by Carol Gluck and Anna L. Tsing. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 40-66.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course particularly develops the following UoE Graduate Attributes:
- research and enquiry, in engaging with course readings and themes
- intellectual autonomy, in pursuing deeper engagement with selected topics
- personal effectiveness, especially in adapting to new situations with sensitivity and integrity
- communication, aural and written
|Course organiser||Dr Arkotong Longkumer
Tel: (0131 6)50 8781
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227