In addition to their rich intrinsic cultural value, Indigenous star knowledge and traditions challenge the notion that there is only one (Western-based) science and one astronomy. In fact, there are many astronomies and instructive elements of what has been called “Indigenous science” embedded within the world’s Native cultures over great expanses of time.
This class will explore examples of Indigenous star knowledge and traditions in a variety of cultural contexts over time against the backdrop of Western astronomical beliefs. This class will also introduce the concept of “Two-Eyed Seeing”: seeing the strengths of Indigenous ways of knowing with one eye and Western ways of knowing with the other.
Lee Minnerly, MA in Anthropology and independent scholar, has taught classes at the Newberry on archaeology, cultural astronomy, early science fiction, and the plurality of worlds. He is a former longtime volunteer at the Webster Institute for the History of Astronomy, Adler Planetarium.
- Instructor-Distributed Materials
- Please listen to "Relearning the Star Stories of Indigenous Peoples," Science Friday National Public Radio broadcast, 6 September 2019, for the first session. The podcast is online at
Cost and Registration
Five sessions, $245 ($220 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.
To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.