AIS 560 Modern Creative and Performing Arts

SFSU Spring 2017 Semester

AIS 560.1 Modern Creative and Performing Arts

  • Class Number: 6639
  • MW, 2:10-3:25, BH 252
  • Class Attributes: Upper Division, UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities, SF State Studies: Amer Ethnic & Racial Minorities, SF State Studies: Social Justice



Individual and group performance of creative and performing arts in American Indian communities. Fine art, oral poetry, dramatic modes and media. Adaptation of traditional modes to modern situations.



1.         Conceptual Frameworks and Historical Narratives



  • To provide conceptual models and terminology through which to discuss and consider Native American modern creative and performing arts and Native performance strategies.
  • To consider the influence of assimilative educational and economic policies on the development of Native performance strategies (boarding schools, residential schools, Relocation).
  • To discuss complex and contrasting definitions of American Indian identity emanating from Red Power activism.


2.         Survey of Modern Creative and Performing Arts



  • Examine the creative works of a wide variety of Native American artists working in the fields of music, dance, theater, performance art, and film. Note that this list is in no way exhaustive and other fields may be added as time permits over the course of the semester.
  • Discuss the relationships between Native artistic output and important socio-political events key events in Native American and First Nations histories.


By the conclusion of the class, students will develop historical and analytical frameworks through which to understand and appreciate the complexity of Native American modern creative and performing arts and their influence on Native and non-Native individuals and communities.



Rader, Dean. 2011. Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI. The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere. Austin: University of Texas Press.


Robinson, Dylan, and Keavy Martin, eds. 2016. Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action in and beyond the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission of Canada. Indigenous Studies Series. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.