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Indigenous heritage of the Americas


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Propedeuse (first year) Archaeology obtained.


The course discusses key concepts of heritage and indigeneity in the Americas within the broader context of the relationship between indigenous peoples and academic discourse at a global level. What is meant by the concept of ‘indigenous heritage’? What role do western scholarly approaches to heritage play in the production of difference?

Indigenous peoples in the Americas have always been actively involved in negotiating processes of defining and redefining heritage but these processes have often been represented in oppositional fashion, leaving little room for finding common ground in interpreting (im)material heritage. This course raises the question of how we can move beyond these disciplinary, epistemological and ethical dualisms and work towards more nuanced, complex and dialogical approaches and practices in handling and giving meaning to heritage.

Course objectives

  • Ability to critically assess literature, arguing one’s position, and maintain a discussion on the basis of the assigned literature;

  • Ability to carry out a modest independent research in a team setting, establish a research strategy in a team setting,
    learn to work in a team setting under the guidance of a primus inter pares;

  • Ability to organise a session at the concluding seminar;

  • Convincingly present research results orally and in writing in a poster presentation at the seminar;

  • Improved skills in searching for bibliographical sources and gathering relevant information, to be presented in a poster presentation;

  • Ability to set up, organise and handle a seminar session within a team setting.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 5×3 hours of lectures;

  • 6 hours of seminar;

  • 250 pages of literature.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Seminar.

Assessment method

  • Poster and presentation;

  • Team paper presentation during the seminar;

  • Organisation of the seminar.

Assessment deadline

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

  • R. Harrison, Reassembling the Collection. Ethnographic Museums and Indigenous Agency (2013). School for Advanced Research, Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe: SAR Press;

  • M. Clavir, Preserving What Is Valued: Museums, Conservation and First Nations (2002). Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press;

  • L. Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (2012 [1999]). London: Zedbooks;

  • M.C. Forte, _Indigenous Cosmopolitans. Transnational and Transcultural Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century (2010). New York: Peter Lang;

  • Wane Njoki, “[Re]Claiming My Indigenous Knowledge: Challenges, Resistance, and Opportunities” (2013), in: Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 93-107;

  • J. Kuo Wei Tchen & L. Sevcenko, “The “Dialogic Museum” Revisited: A Collaborative Reflection” (2011), in: Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User Generated World. Philadelphia: The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. pp 80-97.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contractonderwijs: all information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudent is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).

Contact information

For more information about his course, please contact mw. dr. L.N.K. van Broekhoven.