Core Course Descriptions

In addition to the research and thesis requirements for the degree, students will be required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of core courses, including CCS 608, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and CCS/ED 690, Seminar in Cross-Cultural Studies, the latter serving as a capstone course for all students. The remaining minimum of six core credits are to be selected from the specialty area in which the student is enrolled, along with any course prerequisites. Additional courses may be stipulated by the students graduate committee, depending on prior experience and particular research interests.

The research requirement consists of a minimum of six credits selected from the five courses listed, with consideration given to the nature of the dissertation research in which the student will be engaged. Additional research preparation may be required by the student’s committee, depending on past research experience and research focus for the dissertation. Under the guidance of the respective committee, students may employ either qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of methods appropriate to the research context. The core requirements, including the research courses, will address cultural issues on a local, national and international scale (e.g. U.N Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues), and prepare students for work in any cultural context, though student interest in the program is expected to be concentrated in Alaska, Circumpolar and Pacific Basin settings. Students will be encouraged to enroll for a semester to a year of coursework at another indigenous-serving institution to acquire a cross-national and cross-cultural perspective on issues in the thematic area in which they are enrolled.

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

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.)

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.)

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.)

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 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 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.)

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