STS.S21 The History of Native Science


        [Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee, Yakama), At The End of The Trail. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.]


STS.S21 The History of Native Science



Spring 2024: Tues/Thurs 1-2:30pm

Instructor: Prof. Eli Nelson

Over the past 30 years, Indigenous leaders, activists, scientists, scholars, and educators all over the globe have been using new vocabularies to describe contemporary knowledge and practice. Native science, traditional ecological knowledge, naturalized knowledge systems, and decolonized research methods, to name only a few, are now galvanizing international research and policy related to everything from climate science and intellectual property rights to genetics and population statistics. What is Native science? Are these categories really new or just a recent translation? Where did these terms come from and how have they traveled internationally? This course traces the history of global Indigenous knowledges and engagements with colonial and settler science, technology, and medicine.

Over the course of the semester, we will work toward three primary goals: (1) survey the diverse field of Native science; (2) explore critical STS and Indigenous methods and frameworks for translating and engaging Indigenous knowledge and history; and (3) trace how science and indigeneity have been irreparably entangled through both colonial and decolonial practice.