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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Indigenous Futures: Knowledge, Ecology and Politics (DIVI10086)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.

Course description Academic Description
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.

Syllabus/Outline Content
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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Indigenous Futures: Knowledge, Ecology and Politics (REST10059)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Students will be able to construct lucid and critical arguments, especially in written work.
Reading List
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): 301327.
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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course particularly develops the following UoE Graduate Attributes:
- research and inquiry, 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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Arkotong Longkumer
Tel: (0131 6)50 8781
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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