I've been pondering a fun addition to our curriculum that would draw good numbers and still satisfy the basic aspect of introducing students to culture and diversity. I'm confident that Peoples is the answer....it will offer a broad overview of 5 different culture groups each semester, use several films, and have smaller case study readers instead of a big (expensive) textbook. I got the idea while showing a wonderful Wade Davis film, part of a larger film series that goes with his book Light at the Edge of the World.
My other new class will look at Native Am art traditions (and some modern examples too). I'm hoping this class will appeal to our Fine Arts majors who only have a European focus in their program. I've asked 2 of the art faculty to help in planning the class, with suggestions of what their students need to understand about non-Euro expression. I always include art in my Native classes so it will be an expansion of previous discussions about materials, objects, artists in society, the social uses of art (religious, political, domestic), changes with the Euro-Am encounter and a movement into a commercial marketplace. I will also offer some hands on training and hope the Fine Arts majors may want to explore some themes, styles in their studio classes including ceramics. I'm comfortable teaching bead work or making small hide bags etc, even moccasins or dolls but wish I knew more about quillwork, basketry, feather work, jewelry making and other art forms. Clearly students won't be making Native art but some hands on experience with beads etc will give them a greater appreciation of how indigenous peoples express culture through art. I need to find some books for us, but there are several syllabi on the internet from others who have taught this type of class and I can see how they have approached the topics and their reading selections.