Exams for Indians of North America

ANTH E-320, Fall 2008

ANTH E-320 Take home final, Fall 2008

This final exam is due to Dr. Zimmerman by 5 PM on Tuesday, December 9, 2008. E-mail is preferred, but if you are uncomfortable with that, please deliver hard copy to my office, or if not there, in my mailbox in 413 CA.

You must answer Question 1, the question that I promised on the first day of class (and reminded you of several times) would be on the final . You then may choose three (3) more from the rest. Each of your four  answers will be worth 25 points for a total of 100. Most answers will be 2 - 3 double-spaced pages, but quality is the issue, not length. 

Take some time  to  organize and to write your answers carefully.  Because you have the questions  ahead, I will expect well-constructed, proofread, and thorough answers with 2 - 3 substantive examples to support  each of them. Examples should come from readings first, then videos and lectures. The questions are broad enough that you can probably take any number of approaches to your answers. There are no "right" answers, only well thought out and constructed answers supported by appropriately chosen and used examples. These examples are extremely important and the only real way I have of assessing whether you read anything.

What do I mean by examples? Support any contentions you make with material from reading. Saying something like, “This is like Deloria says in Playing Indian,” is not good enough. How does what Deloria writes explain or support what you are writing? Spell it out to show that you have read and understood the material, not that you can just quote from the book.

You may submit answers to me in draft form up to the date of the final (e-mail is probably best). I will quickly scan them and let you know what I think of both content and writing, but I will not make corrections to either unless something important jumps out. I'll make suggestions on how to improve the answers if I think it's necessary. In some rare cases I may say that this is good enough to turn in as is.  Remember that if I get lots of drafts the day before the exam, I won't get them read.

Grading: I will be looking for the examples, which show me that you have read and understood materials.  If you use only video or lecture examples, you will not get as high a grade as you would with well-chosen examples from readings.  I would guess that approximately 15 points would come from examples and 10 from a combination of other content, logic, and writing.  I will not spend any time correcting writing as I have done on earlier papers and the midterm. It takes way too much time, and I don't have that luxury when returning final grades. I'll only make summary comments about logic, content, and overall writing. However, if you wish a more thorough analysis of your answers bring them in next semester and I'll do what I can.

The Questions

1. What does it mean to be Indian in contemporary America?   (You must answer this question!  Remember, this does not mean what it feels like to be Indian or what an Indian is.)

2. Why does it bother many Native Americans so much when wannabes, New Agers, anthropologists, and others want to “understand” them? For example, Vine Deloria  was annoyed by continued attempts to solve the “Indian problem,” which he says is really a “whiteman problem?  What might he mean by this? Why would Indians be bothered by  American and European (or other) curiosity about Indians? 

3.   In the YouTube Indians project we’ve seen one use of new media by Indian people. Mostly we’ve talked about their use of YouTube in a positive light wherein they can present their own voice directly to YouTube’s many viewers. What might be some of the negative aspects of using YouTube or similar media?

4. Should the US government offer a formal apology to Indian people for the wide range of negative things done to Indian nations over the past 233 years? Should tribes be given some kind of financial reparations? Is it realistic for reconciliation between Indians and non-Indians to occur in the United States?

5. If you wanted to show one video from the class to your family or friends, which one would it be and why? Which of the books would you recommend to them and why?

6. For most of you, this class probably was not what you expected a class on Indians to be about. What most surprised you from the various topics discussed in class? Why? What was the most important thing you learned from this class?