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ERIC Number: EJ923603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
American Indian Studies as an Academic Discipline
Kidwell, Clara Sue
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v35 n1 p27-31 2011
When American Indian/Native American studies (AI/NAS) programs began to emerge in the halls of academia during the late 1960s and early 1970s, some who served as faculty and staff questioned whether they would be one-generation phenomena. Would the programs survive, would they continue to draw students, and could they make an impact on institutional curricula to promote the development of future scholars? Such programs were generally marginalized administratively and suffered from benign neglect by puzzled deans and chancellors. However, the field of AI/NAS has proven to be much more than simply a one-generation phenomenon. It is significant that early programs such as those at the University of California at Los Angeles and at Arizona began as master's degree programs, and that Berkeley's Ethnic Studies Department implemented an ethnic studies PhD program in 1976, in which students could take a specialization in Native American studies. From countering stereotypes to sophisticated theories about the nature of American Indian identity in contemporary American society, AI/NAS programs have fostered scholarship that enriches the curricula of many colleges and universities throughout the country. Graduate programs have now produced several intellectual generations of new scholars who are continuing to contribute to the field. AI/NAS academic programs have survived and even flourished in a number of major colleges and universities. They have made an impact in the academy and achieved a level of academic credibility that is demonstrated by the fortieth anniversary of the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. Although scholars continue to debate the status of American Indian studies as a discipline, the debate is the mark of a healthy academic enterprise that continues to grow and explore new intellectual territory. (Contains 8 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California