Cross-Cultural and Indigenous Studies

Graduate School
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska  99775
Phone (907) 474-7464 • Fax (907) 474-1984

Course Offerings and Specialty Areas

Following are the catalog descriptions for the required and elective core courses associated with the Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies.

Core Course Offerings

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The following courses are available to fulfill the core requirements for the PhD in Indigenous Studies. Courses marked with an * are available by distance education.

ANL 601 Seminar in Language Revitalization (3 Credits) Language teaching and acquisition strategies appropriate to under-documented and less commonly taught languages. Students write an applied research proposal related to local language endangerment issues and strategies for improving teaching either at the school or community level. Emphasis on students' class presentation and research ideas. (Prerequisite: LING 450; ANTH 451 or LING 601.)

ANTH/NORS 610 Northern Indigenous Peoples and Contemporary Issues (3 Credits) This course examines a number of issues affecting northern indigenous peoples from a comparative perspective, including perspectives from Alaska, Canada, Greenland and the Soviet Union. Issues include the impact of the alienation of land on which these peoples depend; the relationship between their small, rural microeconomies and the larger agroindustrial market economies of which they are a part; education, language loss and cultural transmission; alternative governmental policies towards indigenous peoples; and contrasting world views. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing, or upper-division with permission of instructor.)

ANTH 624 Analytical Techniques (3 Credits) Classification, sampling, collection and analysis of anthropological data: parametric and nonparametric significance tests and measures of association, analysis of frequency data, estimating resemblance using multiple variables, computer simulations and analysis. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in anthropology)

ANTH 631 Language and Culture Seminar (3 Credits)
In-depth examination of the interrelation between language and culture in the context of the theories of human communication, semiotics and maintenance of cultural boundaries. In particular, the influence of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in anthropological thinking today and the field of ethnoscience will be examined, as well as language change in contact situations with emphasis on emergence of pidgin and Creole languages and effects of the introduction of writing. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing; previous credit in anthropological or descriptive linguistics, or permission of instructor.)

ANTH 637 Methods in Ethnohistorical Research (3 Credits) Students of anthropology are introduced to the methods of historical research, particularly the critical evaluation of written documents, problems of archaic language and paleography, and methods for assessing art and folklorist tradition as sources of history. Oral history and the data of language and archaeology are considered. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in anthropology or permission of instructor.)

ANTH 646 Economic Anthropology (3 Credits) Relationships between economic and other social relations. Pre-industrial societies. Relevance of formal economics to small-scale societies and developing nations. Exchange, formal and substantive economics, market economics, rationality, political economy and the economics of development. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

ANTH/BIOL/ECON/NRM 647 Regional Sustainability (3 Credits)
Explores the basic principles that govern resilience and change of ecological and social systems. The principles are applied at the level of populations, communities, regions and the globe. Working within and across each of these scales, students address the processes that influence ecological, cultural and economic sustainability, with an emphasis on Alaska examples. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing in a natural science, social science, humanities or interdisciplinary program at UAF, or permission of instructor.)

ANTH/BIOL/ECON/NRM 649 Integrated Assessment and Adaptive Management (3 Credits) Interdisciplinary exploration of theoretical and practical considerations of integrated assessment and adaptive management. Students survey concepts important in understanding societal and professional-level decision-making. Students work as individuals and as a team to undertake case studies with relevance to integrated assessment and adaptive management. Collectively, the class builds a portfolio of cases and conducts an integrated assessment. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing in a natural science, social science, humanities or interdisciplinary program at UAF or another university, or permission of instructor.)

*CCS 601 Documenting Indigenous Knowledge (3 credits) A thorough grounding in the research methodologies and issues associated with documenting and conveying the depth and breadth of indigenous knowledge systems and their epistemological structures. Includes a survey of oral and literate data gathering techniques, a review of various modes of analysis and presentation, and a practical experience in a real-life setting. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or approval of the instructor.)

*CCS 602 Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights (3 credits) Examines issues associated with recognizing and respecting cultural and intellectual property rights with respect to the documentation, publication and display of knowledge, practices, beliefs and artifacts of cultural traditions. Appropriate research principles, ethical guidelines and legal protections will be reviewed for their application to cross-cultural studies. (Prerequisite: graduate standing or approval of the instructor.)

*CCS/ED 603 Field Study Research Methods (3 credits) Focus on techniques for conducting both quantitative and qualitative field research. Particular emphasis on considerations for conducting field research in cross-cultural settings.

*CCS/ED/RD/ANL 608 Indigenous Knowledge Systems (3 credits) A comparative survey and analysis of the epistemological properties, worldviews and modes of transmission associated with various indigenous knowledge systems. Emphasis on knowledge systems practiced in Alaska. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor.)

*CCS/ED 610 Education and Cultural Processes (3 credits) Advanced study of the function of education as a cultural process and its relation to other aspects of a cultural system. Students will be required to prepare a study in which they examine some aspect of education in a particular cultural context.

*CCS/ED 611 Culture , Cognition and Knowledge Acquisition (3 credits) An examination of the relationship between learning, thinking and perception in multicultural contexts. Particular emphasis will be on the implications of these relationships for schooling. Content will focus on cultural influences on perception, conceptual processes, learning, memory and problem solving. Content will also reflect concern for practical teaching problems. (Prerequisite: CCS 610 recommended.)

*CCS 612 Traditional Ecological Knowledge (3 credits)
Examines the acquisition and utilization of knowledge associated with long-term inhabitation of particular ecological systems and adaptations that arise from the accumulation of such knowledge. Attention will be given to the contemporary significance of traditional ecological knowledge as a complement to academic fields of study. (Prerequisite: graduate standing or approval of the instructor.)

*CCS/ED/RD/ANL 690 Seminar in Cross-Cultural Studies (3 Credits)
Investigation of current issues in cross-cultural contexts. Opportunity for students to synthesize prior graduate studies and research. Seminar is taken near the terminus of a graduate program.

*CCS 699 Thesis (1 – 12 credits) Thesis project for graduate students earning Ph.D.. Enrollment is contingent on admission to the graduate program and permission of the graduate committee.

*ED 616 Education and Socio-Economic Change (3 credits) An examination of social change processes, particularly related to the deliberate development of new institutions and resulting forms of new consciousness. Emphasis on role of education and schooling in this development dynamic.

*ED 620 Language, Literacy and Learning (3 Credits) The relationships among language, culture and thinking as issues of literacy and learning. Specific areas of emphasis include linguistic relativity, discourse, role of context in communications, variant language learning strategies and styles, speech community, open and closed linguistic systems, cognitive styles, and literacy as a cultural and cognitive phenomenon.

*ED/LING 621 Cultural Aspects of Language Acquisition (3 Credits) An expanded view of the ways in which individuals become socialized into particular patterns of first and second language and literacy. The ongoing acquisition of both oral and written language(s) from early childhood through adult life. Topics will include: the cultural dimensions of language development; the relationship between communication and culture; bilingualism; and the role of language in the transmission of sociocultural knowledge.

*ED 660 Educational Administration in Cultural Perspective (3 credits) Issues related to the social organization and socio-political context of schools, administrative and institutional change processes and the changing role of administrators in education, using a cross-cultural framework for analysis.

*RD 600 Circumpolar Indigenous Leadership Symposium (3 Credits)
Symposium serves three goals: to build an integrated and lifelong learning community among new and continuing students in the Rural Development program, to explore the qualities of indigenous leadership in dynamic cross-cultural settings, and to incorporate the insights and wisdom of experienced rural development practitioners. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor)

*RD 601 Political Economy of the Circumpolar North (3 Credits) Interrelationships between rural communities in the circumpolar North and global socioeconomic, political and ecological systems. Includes major theoretical advances in our understanding of the development in the 20th century. Uses a comparative case study approach to understand rapid socioeconomically and cultural change in the north. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

*RD 650 Community-Based Research Methods (3 Credits)
Exploration of community-based research principles and practices. Emphasis on developing a thorough understanding of the community research process from conceptualization to implementation and evaluation. Includes skill development for both quantitative and qualitative research. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

*RD 651 Management Strategies for Rural Development (3 Credits) Managing change and development among indigenous communities. Emphasis on rural development in the circumpolar North. Includes recent management strategies implemented in Alaska such as co-management of renewable resources, land management of Alaska Native corporations, cultural resource management, and the management of Alaska Native tribal governments, corporations and other organizations. Uses comparative case studies and effects of cultural and traditional values on management practices in different northern sociocultural environments.

*RD 652 Indigenous Organization Management (3 Credits) Purposes, structure and methods of management of indigenous organizations with an emphasis on the North. Historical overview of Alaska Native organizations, including those established to pursue Native rights, land claims and government services. Case studies of corporations established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act will be examined, as well as regional tribal organizations. Management of Alaska Native organizations is compared with formal organizations established by indigenous peoples throughout the circumpolar North. Western and indigenous organizational cultures and perceptions will be reviewed. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

Specialty Area Course Offerings

Students are required to complete a minimum of four courses (12 credits) in their specialty area, as outlined below and under the core electives.

 

Indigenous Studies/Research

ANTH 630 Anthropological Field Methods (3 Credits) Concentration on the practical concerns and aspects of conducting anthropological field research. Includes the relevant literature and significant discussions on the different aspects of fieldwork. In addition, students will gain practical experience in the problems, techniques and methods of fieldwork involving people from similar or distinct cultural backgrounds. The preparation of research proposals is also given attention. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in anthropology or permission of instructor.)

ANTH 637 Methods in Ethno-historical Research (3 Credits) Students of anthropology are introduced to the methods of historical research, particularly the critical evaluation of written documents, problems of archaic language and paleography, and methods for assessing art and folklorist tradition as sources of history. Oral history and the data of language and archaeology are considered. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in anthropology or permission of instructor.)

ANTH/BIOL/ECON/NRM 648 Integrative Modeling of Natural and Social Systems (3 Credits)
Provides a modeling approach to structuring knowledge from natural and social scientific disciplines so that relevant aspects of a complex societal problem are considered for the purpose of making management and policy decisions. Designed to help graduate students use models to integrate understanding about interactions among natural and social systems for the purpose of managing biological and human resources. (Prerequisite: STAT 200X or equivalent, graduate standing in a natural science, social science, humanities or interdisciplinary program at UAF or another university, or permission of instructor.)

PSY 635 Field-Based Research Methods (3 Credits)
Methods used in doing cross-cultural research in community settings. Emphasis on formal descriptions of the interaction between people and their environments. The course will present a wide variety of designs, analyses and conceptual approaches appropriate to improving our general understanding of behavior in communities. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be presented in the context of carrying out individual research projects. (Prerequisite: Admittance to the Community Psychology program or permission of instructor.)

 

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

ANS/RD 401 Cultural Knowledge of Native Elders (3 Credits) Study with prominent Native tradition-bearers in Native philosophies, values and oral traditions. Traditional knowledge elicited through the cultural heritage documentation process. Analysis of existing interactions between cultural traditions and contemporary American life as experienced by Native elders. (Prerequisites: HIST 110, ANTH 242 and upper-division standing.)

*ANS/ED 461 Native Ways of Knowing (3 Credits) Focus on how culture and worldview shape who we are and influence the way we come to know the world around us. Emphasis on Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing. (Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.)

ANTH/NORS 670 Oral Sources; Issues in Documentation (3 Credits) Preparation for recording and use of oral resources. Examines how meaning is conveyed through oral traditions and personal narratives and the issues involved with recording and reproducing narratives. Includes management of oral recordings, ethical and legal considerations, issues of interpretation and censorship and the use of new technologies to access and deliver recordings. (Prerequisite: At least one undergraduate ANTH course and one undergraduate HIST course, or permission of instructor.)

*CCS/ED 611 Culture , Cognition and Knowledge Acquisition (3 credits) An examination of the relationship between learning, thinking and perception in multicultural contexts. Particular emphasis will be on the implications of these relationships for schooling. Content will focus on cultural influences on perception, conceptual processes, learning, memory and problem solving. Content will also reflect concern for practical teaching problems. (Prerequisite: ED 610 recommended.)

*CCS 612 Traditional Ecological Knowledge (3 credits) Examines the acquisition and utilization of knowledge associated with long-term inhabitation of particular ecological systems and adaptations that arise from the accumulation of such knowledge. Attention will be given to the contemporary significance of traditional ecological knowledge as a complement to academic fields of study. (Prerequisite: graduate standing or approval of the instructor.)

PSY 602 Native Ways of Knowing (3 Credits)
Covers the appropriate and valid ways of describing and explaining human behavior by using the social context, culture and history of indigenous groups. Includes indigenous approaches to values, health, the interconnection of family and community; the nature of spirituality and indigenous healing; and the importance of elders and spiritual healers. Course will be video-conferenced between UAA and UAF campuses. The course will make use of Blackboard and E-res to support distance delivery. (Prerequisite: Admittance into the psychology Ph.D. program or permission of instructor.)

PSY 606 Native Ways of Healing (3 Credits) Explores healing from a variety of Native perspectives, particularly from an Alaska Native perspective. Emphasizes the preparation and education of healers, their roles and work and integration within the community. Students will have the opportunity to examine the possible integration of clinical and community psychology with indigenous approaches to healing. Course will be video-conferenced between UAA and UAF campuses. The course will make use of Blackboard and E-res to support distance delivery. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing in psychology or permission of instructor.)

 

Indigenous Education/Pedagogy

*ANS/ED 461 Native Ways of Knowing (3 Credits) Focus on how culture and worldview shape who we are and influence the way we come to know the world around us. Emphasis on Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing. (Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.)

*ED 606 Alaska Native Education (3 Credits)
School systems historically serving Native people, current efforts toward local control and the cross-cultural nature of this education. (Prerequisite: ANTH 242 or permission of instructor.)

*ED/CCS 610 Education and Cultural Processes (3 credits)
Advanced study of the function of education as a cultural process and its relation to other aspects of a cultural system. Students will be required to prepare a study in which they examine some aspect of education in a particular cultural context.

*ED/CCS 611 Culture , Cognition and Knowledge Acquisition (3 credits)
An examination of the relationship between learning, thinking and perception in multicultural contexts. Particular emphasis will be on the implications of these relationships for schooling. Content will focus on cultural influences on perception, conceptual processes, learning, memory and problem solving. Content will also reflect concern for practical teaching problems. (Prerequisite: ED 610 recommended.)

*ED/CCS 613 Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools (3 Credits)
Guidelines, rationale and resources for adapting educational policies, programs and practices to better address the cultural well-being of the students and communities they serve. Content will be grounded in the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools, including standards for students, teachers, curriculum, schools and communities.

*ED 631 Small Schools Curriculum Design (3 credits) Salient issues involved with the development of effective programs of instruction in small schools, including foundational design, conceptual models, organizational strategies, technical skills, current issues and trends, and their implications and application to the environment of rural Alaska.

ED/NORS 680 Comparative Education (3 Credits) Analysis of international systems of public education. Issues addressed include social context, ethnicity, gender, ideology, international power, level of development, current issues and problems, and efforts toward reform.

*ED 681 Place Based Education (3 Credits) An examination of the relationship between local landscape and community, and the development of human perception. Emphasis on the importance of the development of ecologically appropriate community-based educational programs in rural and urban schools. Priority placed on project-centered programs lending themselves to experimental learning opportunities. Includes literature review, discussion, curriculum exploration and design, and on-site community exploration of active place-based educational programs.

 

Indigenous Languages

Students enrolling in the Indigenous Languages thematic area are expected to acquire a degree of proficiency in an Indigenous language, as determined by the students graduate committee.

ANL/LING 651 Topics in Athabascan Linguistics (3 Credits) Graduate-level introduction to important topics in Athabascan linguistics, including both foundational literature and current research. Topics may include laryngeal features; tonogenesis; the syntaxmorphology interface; argument structure; lexical semantics and discourse. Course may be repeated once for credit with permission of instructor. (Prerequisites: LING 601 or equivalent; graduate standing. Recommended: LING 603 and LING 604.)

*ED 620 Language, Literacy and Learning (3 Credits)
The relationships among language, culture and thinking as issues of literacy and learning. Specific areas of emphasis include linguistic relativity, discourse, role of context in communications, variant language learning strategies and styles, speech community, open and closed linguistic systems, cognitive styles, and literacy as a cultural and cognitive phenomenon.

*ED/LING 621 Cultural Aspects of Language Acquisition (3 Credits) An expanded view of the ways in which individuals become socialized into particular patterns of first and second language and literacy. The ongoing acquisition of both oral and written language(s) from early childhood through adult life. Topics will include: the cultural dimensions of language development; the relationship between communication and culture; bilingualism; and the role of language in the transmission of sociocultural knowledge.

*ED 669 Reading, Language and Culture (3 Credits) Introduction to the foundations of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic theories as they relate to oral and written language acquisition and development. Focus on issues of language and literacy education practices in the Alaska context. Topics include bi-lingual and bi-literacy education, school and community languages and literacies, and culturally responsive pedagogy. Emphasis on teachers/students developing the skills and dispositions to become researchers of culture, language and literacy in their communities.

LING 602 Second Language Acquisition (3 Credits) Central issues in second language acquisition research. Includes a critical review of SLA theories and research. (Prerequisites: LING 101 or LING 601; graduate standing; or permission of instructor.)

LING 627 Introduction to Linguistic Description and Documentation (3 Credits)
General introduction to lexicography, field phonetics, grammatical documentation, investigation of narrative, other levels of linguistic documentation, the distinction between description and documentation and differences in structure and method between pedagogical and academic materials resulting from field work. (Prerequisites: LING 601 or equivalent, and demonstrated background in phonology and morphology, or permission of instructor).

LING 631/ANTH 632 Field Methods in Descriptive Linguistics (3 Credits)
Introduction to general issues in language field work and to issues specific to working with little studied and/or endangered languages in particular. Focus on introduction to writing systems, making records, computers and transcriptions, planning consultant sessions, working with consultants, interviewing, and ethics in the field. Projects include making transcriptions of familiar language, and later, working on unfamiliar language with a language consultant, selecting and carrying out a well-defined project, resulting in a term paper. (Prerequisites: LING 627, or permission of instructor.)

LING 650 Language Policy and Planning (3 Credits)
Consideration of minority languages, including Alaska Native Languages, in light of their histories, current status and factors affecting future maintenance.

 

Indigenous Leadership

*ANS 475 Alaska Native Social Change(s) (3 Credits) Tradition and change in Native social institutions in contemporary society. Methods of identifying and analyzing significant Native social change processes for public understanding. (Prerequisite: ANTH 242 or permission of instructor.)

ANTH 603 Political Anthropology (3 Credits)
Political systems and the law. Case studies from nonindustrial societies, developing nations and parapolitical systems or encapsulated societies, such as Native peoples in the U.S. Political structures and institutions; social conflict, dispute settlement, social control and the law, political competition over critical resources; and ethnicity. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing.)

ANTH 607 Kinship and Social Organization (3 Credits) Forms and function of family and household organization, kinship and marriage in diverse human sociocultural systems. Case studies from tribal and complex societies including contemporary United States. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

ANTH 652 Research Design and Professional Development Seminar (3 Credits) How to develop problem-based research in anthropology and prepare research proposals, grant proposals and publications along with critical evaluations of similar material. Topics include preparation of oral presentations for professional meetings, lectures and seminars; curriculum vitae preparation; and project budgeting. (Prerequisites: Upper-division anthropology course or permission of instructor.)

ANTH 653 Current Perspectives in Cultural Resource Management (3 Credits) Cultural resource management. Includes historic preservation and environmental law. Reviews pertinent legislation pertaining to the protection of historic properties and presents a series of real world problems confronted by archaeologists. Cultural resource management will be treated historically within a context of the development of American archaeology. Emphasis on practical aspects of career development. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

*ED 660 Educational Administration in Cultural Perspective (3 credits)
Issues related to the social organization and socio-political context of schools, administrative and institutional change processes and the changing role of administrators in education, using a cross-cultural framework for analysis.

PSY/NORS 614 Human Adaptation to the Circumpolar North (3 Credits)
Patterns of individual and family adaptation to the stresses and opportunities of northern regions. Focuses on successful and unsuccessful responses to northern conditions--the arctic climate, the northern economy, cultural diversity, and the professional opportunities and stress factors of sparsely populated frontier settings. Students will complete an original research paper. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

*RD 600 Circumpolar Indigenous Leadership Symposium (3 Credits)
Symposium serves three goals: to build an integrated and lifelong learning community among new and continuing students in the Rural Development program, to explore the qualities of indigenous leadership in dynamic cross-cultural settings, and to incorporate the insights and wisdom of experienced rural development practitioners. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor)

*RD 625 Community Development Strategies: Principles and Practices (3 Credits)
Strategies, principles and practice of community development in rural Alaska and throughout the circumpolar North. Topics explore how rural communities in diverse cultural, political and economic settings build on local assets, skills and capacities to improve the lives of indigenous and other Northern residents. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

*RD 651 Management Strategies for Rural Development (3 Credits)
Managing change and development among indigenous communities. Emphasis on rural development in the circumpolar North. Includes recent management strategies implemented in Alaska such as co-management of renewable resources, land management of Alaska Native corporations, cultural resource management, and the management of Alaska Native tribal governments, corporations and other organizations. Uses comparative case studies and effects of cultural and traditional values on management practices in different northern sociocultural environments. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

*RD 652 Indigenous Organization Management (3 Credits)
Purposes, structure and methods of management of indigenous organizations with an emphasis on the North. Historical overview of Alaska Native organizations, including those established to pursue Native rights, land claims and government services. Case studies of corporations established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act will be examined, as well as regional tribal organizations. Management of Alaska Native organizations is compared with formal organizations established by indigenous peoples throughout the circumpolar North. Western and indigenous organizational cultures and perceptions will be reviewed. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

PS/NORS 662 Alaska Government and Politics (3 Credits)
Alaska's government and politics, in the context of American state and local government, and politics and governments of circumpolar northern nations. Topics include political history, constitution, political parties, interest groups, elections, public opinion, governor, legislature, judiciary, administration and local governments. Compares Alaska to the contiguous 48 states and subnational governments of the circumpolar North; examines how government institutions and processes respond to social, environmental and political changes of Northern communities.