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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


AIS 3100 Haudenosaunee Ecology in the Story of Earth's Creation

Course description

(summer only) This course is only offered in the Summer Session.

What can a story thousands of years old teach us about ecological loss, survival, and renewal in 21st century Ithaca? Cornell's campus stands in the heart of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) homeland, and the Haudenosaunee story of Earth's creation offers unique insight into the emergence of the local biome. In this course, we will examine Chief Skanyatarí:yo John Arthur Gibson's Myth of the Earthgrasper, a richly detailed version of the Creation story recorded in 1899. Together, we will trace the intersections of species, seral stage, and narrative event that show us ancient ways of understanding and responding to the profound ecological changes we face now. We will supplement Gibson's narrative with readings from other primary sources, the perspectives of Haudenosaunee herbalists, hunters, and researchers working today, and field surveys of species at local sites. Outcome 1: Students will learn to read a major narrative of non-Western culture, identify themes and content relevant to a specific theoretical perspective, and apply these findings to the local resolution of a current global problem.


AIS 1100 or AIS 1110


The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time. Find similar upcoming programs by tag: culture, ecology/nature, Ithaca, literature, summer

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