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Native American & Indigenous Studies Courses

NAIS Minor

In May of 2014, the School of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee and Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania approved a new inter-disciplinary Minor in the field of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS). Minors at Penn are intended to: enable students to develop knowledges and skills that can complement their major; pursue additional fields of in-depth study beyond the major; express themselves in a different discipline; explore an emerging intellectual field; gain experience in applying specific methods and theories; and/or learn about particular ethnicities, cultures, and heritages.

Students interested in pursuing the NAIS Minor can follow the links on this page for more information.

To download a pdf file with past and present NAIS course descriptions, see:

NAIS Course Descriptions - 2020.pdf

To register for the NAIS Minor, contact the NAIS Coordinator: mbruchac@sas.upenn.edu

For information on other Minors available for study at Penn, see: List of Minors

Overview of NAIS Courses

The University of Pennsylvania currently offers about 20 courses with significant Native American and Indigenous content in 8 different departments. Several of these courses include dense content focusing almost exclusively on Native Americans and First Nations peoples in North America. Other courses offer sections focusing on Indigenous peoples and issues in diverse worldwide locales, from diverse disciplinary perspectives. 

Many NAIS courses are cross-listed or can be applied towards other requirements of the College. Examples include: Native People of Eastern North America (History and Anthropology); Performing Culture (Cultural Diversity); and Public Policy, Museums, and the Ethics of Cultural Heritage (Anthropology and History). Other NAIS courses offer foundational knowledge that is central to a particular discipline, but can also be very useful across disciplines. Examples include: Native Peoples and the Environment (Archaeology); Language in Native America (Linguistics). Several new NAIS courses are currently in development; please check back for more information.

Spring 2021 NAIS-Related Courses:

Anthropology 002: Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Kevin Burke                        Monday 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Anthropology 140: Intro to Native American & Indigenous Studies
Dr. Margaret Bruchac         CANCELLED for Spring 2021; will be offered again in 2022

Anthropology 184: Food and Culture
Dr. Megan Kassabaum         Wednesday & Friday 11:00 am – 12:00 noon

Anthropology 268: Anthropology of Museums
Dr. Margaret Bruchac           Wednesday 2:00 – 5:00 pm

English 309: Imagining Environmental Justice
Dr. Rebecca Macklin            
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:0010:30 am
cross-listed as ENG 309, COML 308, ANTH 339   
For more information see:
Penn Program in Environmental Humanities