ANTHRCUL 299 - Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
Spring 2023, Section 101 - Indigenous Media
Instruction Mode: Section 101 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 5/2/23 - 6/19/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


What is Indigenous media? Can Western technologies ever be considered Indigenous? How could Western technologies serve and be appropriated by Indigenous Peoples? The very notion of “Indigenous media” is a contested one as some argue that Western-conceived media is inherently exclusionary of Indigenous Peoples (Ginsburg, 2012). This course will explore the multiple meanings that “Indigenous media” can take by examining the various efforts that Indigenous Peoples across the world have undertaken to create media objects that can circulate in their communities and the world at large. To think about Indigenous media is to tap into the imagination of Indigenous Peoples grounded in local realities and grassroots resources. We will look at these efforts by reviewing Indigenous media objects and ethnographic descriptions of Indigenous media productions from Indigenous Peoples in North and Latin America, Pacific Islanders and Australian and New Zealand Aborigines, while asking: what makes media products Indigenous? Who is involved in these projects? For whom are these products created? And what are their effects? 

The first task for this course will be to think critically about how Indigenous Peoples were represented in Western media objects by the gaze of Others and the effects of these representations in how Indigenous People have engaged in their own media projects. Next, we will start examining how Indigenous Peoples have engaged in media production of their own and how processes of representation take place in these projects. We will ask: What and who is represented in Indigenous Media projects? Can we identify Indigenous Media aesthetics and How? What challenges do Indigenous media producers face? We will, review Indigenous film, radio, and Television projects. Throughout the course, we will learn the semiotic processes through which representation and images are crafted, circulated, and made legible through media objects and in society. 

This course will evidence the truncated relationship of Indigenous Peoples and Western technology which sheds light on issues of inequality and lack of infrastructure that makes Indigenous media production all the more difficult. To elaborate on this issue, we will examine Indigenous Peoples participation in digital media and the Internet. We will read from two indigenous scholars and explore what they see digital media spaces offering to Indigenous Peoples as well as what they identify as challenges. Moreover, we will acknowledge the involvement of Indigenous Peoples in making digital and Western technologies possible and the creative strategies Indigenous communities have developed to access the Internet. We will close this course by considering what lies ahead for Indigenous Media projects, and what decolonization initiatives can offer and where they fall short.


ANTHRCUL 299 - Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 1:00PM
5/2/23 - 6/19/23

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