Native American Studies
The Harvard University Native American Program contributes to Native Studies at Harvard through a myriad of teaching and research initiatives and support of courses focused on Native American issues, including Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation Building I & II.
While Harvard University offers courses with Native American and Indigenous emphasis, there is currently no Native Studies major or minor. However, undergraduate students interested in Native and/or Indigenous studies can obtain a secondary concentration in Indigeneity from the Department of Ethnic Studies.
For fall 2011 courses with a concentration on Native peoples and issues, click here.
Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation Building I & II
Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation-Building I (HKS PED- 501M; HGSE A101)
Joseph P. Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Day & Time: TuWThF & 10am- 4pm (January 11-14, 2011)
Location: Harvard Kennedy School, Rubenstein Building, RG20
This course examines issues Native American tribes and nations face as they enter the 21st century, including: political sovereignty, economic development, constitutional reform, cultural promotion, land and water rights, religious freedom, health and social welfare, and education. Because the challenges are broad and comprehensive, the course emphasizes the breadth of issues that leaders must confront. Research finds that effective nation building must be compatible with individual society's cultures. Yet, American Indian societies are culturally heterogeneous. Hence, there is not "one size" that fits all. Case studies and simulations derived from field research and experience are utilized to engage students in the multidimensional settings that confront Native societies. Non-HKS students (graduate and undergraduate) from all schools and departments in the university are welcome by cross-registration.
Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation-Building II (HKS PED-502; HGSE A102)
Dennis Norman, Faculty Chair, Harvard University Native American Program; Chief of Psychology at Mass General Hospital; Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Day & Time:
Location: 14 Story Street, 4th Floor, Suite 400, Cambridge, MA 02138
This field-based research course focuses on some of the major issues Native American Indian tribes and nations face in the 21st. Projects are designed and requested by a Native community or organization and focus on some of the major issues Native American tribes and nations face. These projects are based on the "sovereign" choice of a community to partner with a university to study native issues, including sovereignty, economic development, constitutional reform, leadership, health and social welfare, land and water rights, culture and language, religious freedom, and education (see examples below). This course is devoted primarily to preparation and presentation of a comprehensive research paper based on a field investigation. In addition to interdisciplinary faculty presentations on topics such as field research methods and problem definition, students will make presentations on their work in progress and findings. Prerequisite: PED-501M or permission of instructor.
Nation Building II Projects
Click here to download a sampling of HUNAP's Nation Building II Projects (2007-2010).
Note: It is highly encouraged that you review the paper "Native Nations and Universities: Collaborative Strategies for Nation Building-The Nation Building Renaissance" by Dennis Norman and Joseph Kalt as a context for collaborative strategies between Native Nations and Universities.
Application: Please direct all inquiries regarding Nation Building to Dr. Dennis Norman, HUNAP Faculty Chair. To submit a proposal you can fill out this form.
New Secondary Concentration with a focus on Indigeneity created in Ethnic Studies
The secondary field in Ethnic Studies is intended to provide students with a foundational course and a general, overarching structure for taking a variety of meaningfully related courses in the four areas of ethnicity, migration, indigeneity, and human rights. Students may take courses in several of these areas or choose to focus on one or two of these tracks.
The secondary field in Ethnic Studies offers students an opportunity to pursue sustained, interdisciplinary study of issues related to ethnicity, migration, indigeneity, and human rights, particularly in Asian American/Transpacific, Native American/Indigenous, and US Latino/American hemispheric topics, with an American focus as well as a transnational one. Ethnic Studies courses address race critique in the social sciences and in the humanities, and consider the role of mobility, diasporas and migration as well as of indigeneity in the configuration of group identities and power formations. An overarching concern is the study of the historical, political and cultural forms through which individuals inhabit the political space of the nation and of the transnational sphere, frequently in the wake of colonialism and displacements that have created stateless people. Bringing to bear the discourse of human rights, Ethnic Studies courses consider the ethics of responsibility that the university must try to foster as it trains citizens and leaders to deal with the construction of political communities as well as the situation of those who are deprived of their legal status. These courses provide a useful bridge between theory and practice, connecting students' academic studies with local and global issues.
Click here for a list of Ethnic Studies courses.