Anthropology through Film: Indigenous Issues, Voices and Perspectives

| ANT 4391-U01 | Spring 2015 | MMC | Wednesdays | 12:00PM - 2:50PM | Dennis Wiedman |

Anthropology through Film has been taught at FIU for over 8 years by Dr. Wiedman with an emphasis on Native North American films. The Spring 2015 course transitions to global Indigenous films from regions throughout the world.

Course Overview

Through films and Internet media this course explores major issues of Indigenous peoples while learning fundamental concepts in anthropology. At each class meeting we will view award-winning films made for theaters, television documentaries and Internet videos. Films written, produced or acted in by Indigenous peoples express the issues and perspectives that they consider important. Countering the stereotypes in Hollywood movies, these films portray the world views, stories, characters and issues of contemporary Indigenous peoples.

Readings written by indigenous peoples complement the films and focus our discussion on the issues of ethnic identity, tribal sovereignty, environmental pollution, economic development, health disparities, human rights, spirituality, religious freedom, sacred lands, language retention, music, art and dance.

Local Indigenous filmmakers speak to the class about their latest productions, careers and challenges.

Anthropological perspectives highlight the comparative method for understanding myth, ritual, traditional healing, kinship, gender, social stratification, racism, commodification of ethnicity, culture change, religious revitalization, artistic innovation, modernization, globalization, and sustainable communities.

Course Objectives

  1. Gain an awareness of the scope and complexity of human diversity.
  2. Be familiar with an array of anthropological perspectives and methods.
  3. Understand the production of knowledge and the role of media in presenting Indigenous views.
  4. Appreciate the economic, health, environmental, political and legal issues that have been and continue to influence the everyday lives of contemporary Indigenous peoples.
  5. Recognize the effects of culture change, modernization and globalization on peoples of the world.


Dennis Wiedman, Ph.D. Anthropologist
Associate Professor. Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies.
Office: University Park SIPA 327. Tel: 305-348-2262
Email: Web Page: