While earning an AIIS graduate minor, you'll explore the complex histories and contemporary situations of Indigenous communities in North America and across the globe. Our faculty teach AIIS courses in diverse range of topics, including art, art history, anthropology, archaeology, education, fiber science and apparel design, law, linguistics, literature, natural resources, performing and media arts, and more. With a graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, you are uniquely competitive as a multidisciplinary and extradisciplinary thinker.

Graduate Requirements

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) minor is available to graduate students in any field of study at Cornell. The minor is earned upon completion of the following:

Required Graduate Courses

AIIS 6000 - Critical Approaches to American Indian and Indigenous Studies: Intellectual History

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the literature in Native American Studies. Readings engage themes of indigeneity, coloniality, power, and “resistance”. The syllabus includes some “classical” works in Native American Studies, but also engages with theoretical and historical contributions from scholars in other disciplines.

The course seeks to meet several specific objectives: 1) to situate contemporary theoretical, philosophical, methodological positions in Indigenous Scholarship in relation to both the 20th century development of Indigenous Studies and Western intellectual histories and practices (in Sociology, Anthropology, Literature, Law, etc.); 2) to critically evaluate the geo-political dimensions of Indigenous (academic) knowledge production, specifically in relation to Indigenous Studies in North American with implications and lessons from South America, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and elsewhere; 3) to interpret the primary lineages of Indigenous Studies within the frameworks of decolonization and coloniality; 4) to critically evaluate and reflect on scholarly positionality within Indigenous Studies and academia more generally.

AIIS 6010 - American Indian and Indigenous Studies Speaker Series

This colloquium brings together Cornell and non-Cornell scholars and leaders who engage issues and topics critical to the field of Indigeneity within their own disciplinary categories, such as law, literature, art, architecture, and gender studies, as well as natural and social sciences. The speakers include faculty, graduate students, Indigenous scholars, and community leaders who present their work for review and critique in a public forum. The Speaker Series is a bi-weekly seminar, which welcomes the larger public to attend and partake in the conversation. The Colloquium is offered as a 1-credit graduate-level course (AIIS 6010).