Objects of Colonial Encounter: Native Arts of the Southwest and Northwest Coast

Colonial encounter involves the meeting of diverse peoples, often on unequal terms, in a variety of sites and mediated by myriad cultural forms. This course will focus on the material culture of encounter in a series of North American colonial landscapes. Moving from East to West (from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, through the Woodlands and Plains, to the Southwest and Northwest Coast) and from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, we will examine the material record for evidence of intercultural exchange and mutual (often ambivalent) appropriations between indigenous peoples and settlers. Case studies may touch upon transformations in the fields of clothing and fashion, architecture, picturing the landscape, weaponry, transportation, geographical survey and governance, ceremonialism, ethnography, film and photography, tourism, and popular culture. Through close study of material and visual culture, we will examine the process of intercultural contact and exchange to understand the social practices and political strategies, the discourses and silences produced by colonial encounters on ever-shifting geographical and cultural frontiers. Study of primary materials in area museums will be encouraged. Depending on your final research project, this course can satisfy the non-Western distribution requirement. 3 credits.