Ethnohistorical Research methods

ANG 6480 - U01 #86563 | Fall 2019 | Wednesday | 11:00 to 1:50 | MMC | Dennis Wiedman

Open to all FIU Graduate Students

Course Overview (25% or more of Indigenous content)

To understand the present and future one must know the past. This course emphasizes time, process and sociocultural context for understanding the human experience. Ethnohistorical research methods facilitate the compilation and analysis of a wide array of sources created a day ago, or thousands of years ago. Students will be immersed in a variety of data sources and taught the skills to combine written texts, material objects, graphic images, interviews, internet sites and ethnographic fieldnotes. Triangulation and mixed methods builds a chronological and diachronic interpretation of source materials, validates their integrity, and places them in social and cultural context. Compiling, organizing and coding primary data sources with NVivo software, the student learns to generate innovative visualizations, explanations and interpretations.

Students from a wide array of disciplines have benefited from this course. Students with an interest in Indigenous peoples will be guided in the use of relevant theories, research topics and data sources. Many of the readings, discussions and examples use Indigenous methodologies and topics.

Course Objectives

What you should be able to do on completion of this course

  1. Integrate and link sociocultural theories, methods and data to produce new knowledge.
  2. Professionally locate, access and utilize collections and archives for research purposes.
  3. Know the assumptions, validity and reliability of methods and techniques for the use of material objects, texts, photos, interviews, maps, visual images, blogs, ethnographies, etc.
  4. Effectively triangulate multiple methods for the analysis and presentation of qualitative research.
  5. Use NVivo software for project management, organization, analysis, and report writing.
  6. Enhance your skills for the production of professional publications.


Students are encouraged to utilize their own theories, research topics and data sources. Special collections in South Florida will be highlighted such as FIU Library Special Collections, Wolfsonian, Ah-Tha-Thi-Ki Musuem, and HistoryMiami. NVivo software using the Windows operating system is available in FIU elabs and ShopUTS. An Apple/MAC version was released in 2014, however, the Windows version is preferred since it has many more advanced functions for this kind of research.