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Introduction to Historical Thinking: Native North America

This course examines the histories of some of the indigenous peoples of North America over several hundred years. Rather than a continuous or comprehensive history of the continent, the course will consider a variety of Native societies from the pre-contact era through the present day, with a focus on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. How did native societies function before contact with Europeans and Africans, and how did contact with newcomers change these societies? Throughout the course, we will consider the utility of various types of historical sources and what these sources can tell us about the histories of Native people. Using a combination of written and material sources, we will consider the ways that indigenous North Americans engaged in diplomacy, trade, and power relations across space and time. The class will have a significant archaeological component, as students will work closely with objects from the Logan Museum, as well as with written sources, to develop individual projects. In the final week of the course we will consider the ways Native societies continue to change and engage with questions of culture and sovereignty in the present day.

Course Number

HIST 150 C2

Course Number (Cross Listing 1)

CRIS 142 C2


Johnston, Katherine M.





Course Format

in person

Course Format Description

Some remote synchronous and/or asynchronous meetings each week, as well as synchronous discussions requiring in-person attendance. Students will also work with objects from the campus museum in person.

Time Slot

Early Morning



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