Photo of the serpent mounds with text Mounds of the Midwest

This seminar investigates how religious ideas have shaped attitudes to the natural environment by focusing on the Mounds of the Midwest.  It will examine the meanings and burial practices of the early Native American peoples, highlight the history of these indigenous groups, and explore the multiple meanings of the Mounds today as revealed in contemporary governmental policies and the American public educational system. The goal is to create critical conversation around environmental ethics and the complex intersections of state power and religion. *Please note that this seminar is no longer accepting student applications.



photo of charmayne champion shawCharmayne Champion-Shaw; Native American Indigenous Studies, IUPUI;



photo of kelly hayesKelly Hayes; Religious Studies; IUPUI;




Student group events and travel:


  • 10/26/18 -Dr. Edward Herrman and Dr. Larry Zimmerman speak with students about  archeological approaches to researching and understanding the Mounds.


  • 11/9-11/10 -Fall student travel days; locations visited: Strawtown –Koteewi Park(Noblesville, IN); Mounds State Park (Anderson, IN); Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (aka Mounds City) (Chillicothe, OH); and Great Serpent Mound Park (Peebles, OH)


  • -Dr. Jeremy Wilson, IUPUI archaeologist, will be speaking to students about his work at Cahokia Mounds (date TBD).


  • 4/19-4/20   -Spring student travel dates to Angel Mounds(Evansville, IN); with an overnight in St. Louis to attend the Washington University Pow Wow and meeting with Kathy Dickerson, a Kiowa tribal member and Native consultant for the Mounds; and Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville, IL)