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American Indian Studies

College of Liberal Arts

CSULB students walk on campus

AIS Courses


101. Introduction to the Study of Native American People (3)

Corequisite/Prerequisite: Any GE Foundation course.
Examines history, culture, religion, art and societies of American Indian. Introduction to historical aspects of Native American experience and discuss these aspects of Native life as applied to contemporary American Indian issues.
Letter grade only (A-F).

102. Aztec Language and Culture (3)

Aztec Language and Culture
Beginning the study of Nahuatl (Aztec). Practice in songs, grammar, reading, performance, pronunciation, writing. Comparison of Classic Aztec and Modern Nahuatl texts and arts. Cultural focus on healing and history.

105. American Indian History – Pre 1871 (3)

Prerequisite/Corequisite: One course from GE category A1.
Survey of histories and cultures of American Indian Peoples in North America from pre-contact to 1871 and analysis of political, cultural, legal and military relationships that developed between American Indians and foreign nations.

106. American Indian History – Post 1871 (3)

Prerequisite/Corequisite: One course from GE category A1.
Survey of histories and cultures of American Indian Peoples in North America from 1871 to present.

200. Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies (3)

Analysis of major issues in contemporary American Indian affairs, politics, art, philosophy, education, reservations life, economics, government relations, Indian organizations, Indian-white relations, legal issues, land rights, media issues, Indian activist movements, and community concerns.

208. California Indian History (3)

Study of relationship between Indian people and various European powers that influenced the settlement of the State of California. Areas to be explored include: indigenous people of California, Spanish invasion of 1769, Mexican secularization in 1834, and seizure by U.S. in 1846.
Letter grade only (A-F).

215. U.S. Diversity and the Ethnic Experience (3)

Prerequisities: Open only to Integrated Teacher Education Program students.
Survey of American Indian, African American, Latino American, and Asian Americans in American society from the colonial era to present. Special attention to the formation and transformation of each ethnic group and their roles in the development of the United States.
Same course as ASAM 215, AFRS 215, CHLS 215. Not open for credit to student with credit in AFRS 215, ASAM 215, B/ST 215, CHLS 215. Departments take turns offering the course in the Fall semester. Letter grade only (A-F).


General Education Category A must be completed prior to taking any upper division course except upper division language courses where students meet formal prerequisites and/or competency equivalent for advanced study.

300. American Indians in Cinema (3)

Examines the creation of stereotypical and positive images of Americans in cinema utilizing silent cinema through contemporary era. Discusses contemporary images created from American Indian perspective that offer different images of American Indians in society.
Class content will vary dependent on films available for instruction. Letter grade only (A-F).

315. Contemporary Indigenous Peoples of Aztlan and Latin America (3)

Contemporary Indigenous Nations Studies of Latin and US America focused on the Aztec, Pueblo, Taino, Maya, Pipil, Aymara, Chicaqno/Latino and Mauri in transnational contexts. Uses international indigenous film, literature, performance, history, economic, diasporic, gender, Chicano/Latino, and American Indian studies approaches.
Same class as CHLS 315.

319. The Ethnic Experience in the U.S. (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Examination of dynamics of development of our multicultural society, emphasizing study of the four distinct ethnic strands of American society (Asian American, Black American, Mexican American, and American Indian) and their role in maintenance of cultural diversity in United States.
Same course as ASAM 319, AFRS 319, CHLS 319, WGSS 319. Not open for credit to student with credit in AFRS 319, ASAM 319, B/ST 319, CHLS 319, W/ST 319, WGSS 319. (Lecture/Discussion)

320. American Indian Art and Material Culture (3)

Survey of North American Indian art; emphasis on art forms of the U.S., Alaska, and Canada. Traditional and contemporary art and artists will be explored, focusing on aesthetic, theoretical, historical, religious, and philosophical aspects as they relate to American Indian culture.

335. American Indian Philosophies (3)

Detailed examination of American Indian tribal cultures and worldviews. Comparison of tribal philosophy and beliefs with that of western society. Special emphasis placed on traditional philosophical traditions as practiced in the cultural regions of North America and the sub-Arctic.
Letter grade only (A-F).

340. American Indian Literature (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Analysis of the written and oral literacy traditions developed by American Indians. Range of works studied: oral history, tales, myths, song, prayer, poetry, short story, and novel.
Same course as ENGL 340. Not open for credit to student with credit in ENGL 340.

400. Advanced Historiography of American Indian People (3)

Introduction to historical writings relating to American Indians. Analyze the attitudes, assumptions, and evidence that have been used to portray American Indian people and the settling of America. Provides a foundation for understanding of how history has been shaped and will advance research skills.
Letter grade only (A-F).

420. American Indian Traditional Material Culture, Arts and Crafts (3)

Prerequisites: AIS 320, or consent of instructor.
Techniques, materials, concepts and processes in the creation of American Indian traditional arts and crafts. Selected artistic projects in the creation of tribal arts.
(Lecture-activity 6 hours.)

421. American Indian Fine Arts: Post 1900 (3)

Examines North American Indian arts with emphasis on major art forms of the continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada. Explores relationship between contemporary art and artists with specific attention to aesthetic, theoretical, historical, religious, and philosophical aspects.
Letter grade only (A-F).

485. Federal Indian Law (3)

Designed to provide an in-depth study of legal relationship between the United States, Indian people, and Indian Nations. Legal development will begin with first contact between Indian people and English colonists and continue to the present time.
Letter grade only (A-F).

490. Special Topics in American Indian Studies (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topics of current interest in American Indian studies selected for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units. Topics will be announced in the Schedule of Classes.

497. Fieldwork in American Indian Studies (1-3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, consent of instructor.
Supervised experience relevant to specific aspects of American Indian community in off-campus setting. Project must be related to student’s major or certificate program. Regular meetings with faculty supervisor and written reports required.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.

499. Directed Studies (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Directed Studies to permit individual students to pursue topics of special interest.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.