American Indian Studies Seminar Series

Black Horse Ledger. ca. 1877-79. Edward E. Ayer Art Collection Oversize Ayer MS 3227.
Black Horse Ledger. ca. 1877-79. Edward E. Ayer Art Collection Oversize Ayer MS 3227.

The D’Arcy McNickle Center launched the Seminar Series in American Indian Studies in the fall 2008. The seminars feature scholarly discussion of papers based on work in progress. Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars are encouraged to attend and to circulate news of this forum to colleagues.

Registration Information

Seminar sessions are held on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Newberry, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois. We will pre-circulate papers to those planning to attend. If you cannot attend and want to read a paper, please contact the author directly. To receive a copy of a paper, email or call (312) 255-3552. Papers are available for request two weeks prior to the seminar date. Please include your email address in all correspondence.

The seminar format assumes that participants have read the essays in advance, and that those requesting the paper will attend. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend. We encourage faculty members to invite their graduate students to attend.

Past American Indian Studies Seminars

Seminar Schedule

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Blackfoot Country: The Creation of the Northwest Plains Borderlands, 1821-1855

During the early 19th century, the Blackfoot peoples of what is now Alberta and Montana lived at the juncture of growing British and American fur trade empires. This essay explores the many ways the Blackfeet used this borderlands position to manipulate and shape the colonial projects expanding into their homelands.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Between Past and Presence: Settler Masculine Imaginings and Settler-Indigenous Encounters in Waawayeyaattanong (Detroit), 1871-1922

During the late 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, elite white men were on a quest to define their masculinity, race and their claim to Detroit as a modern place. And indigeneity was the medium through which the processes of modernization occurred. In this chapter, I argue that elite whites deployed indigeneity to both memorialize and erase Indigenous people from Detroit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Borders within Borderlands: “Don” Pascual Encinas and the Seri

This essay explores “Don” Pascual Encinas’ 19th century attempts to use corporate patriarchy as a means of subordinating the Seri Indians in the absence of the Mexican state.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Smithsonian Institution Exchanges of Native North American Ethnological Collections in the late 19th Century

Though the development of scientific museum collections in the nineteenth century relied primarily on field collecting, scientists and curators also exchanged specimens in order to extend the scope and comprehensiveness of their collections.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Monstrosity and the Semiotic Framing of “Perspectivism” in Lowland South America

“Amerindian perspectivism” made its anthropological debut as an “indigenous theory” according to which certain kinds of animals, plants, spirits, meteorological phenomena, topographical features, and manufactured objects perceive themselves and others of their kind as physiologically anthropomorphic and endowed with human culture.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
What caused the Timucua Revolt?

What caused the 1656 Timucua Rebellion? Everyone in La Florida had a different answer. The Spanish governor accused the Franciscans. The Franciscans were quick to point their fingers at the governor. The Timucuas offered their own explanations, often in less than open and free conditions, for the decisions and actions they took during the Timucua rebellion.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
“Our Own Flesh and Blood”?: Racial Identity and Community in the Ohio Country, 1772-1818

Christianized Indians, pacifist Moravians, and acculturated captives all occupied a tenuous position in the eighteenth century, caught between the “white” world and the Indian one. The Moravian mission towns in the Ohio country hovered in not only the geographic borderlands but in the social borderlands as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Native Tongues: Red English, Translation, and the Transnational in American Indian Literature

This chapter examines the enduring themes of monument and memory in Potawatomi writer Simon Pokagon’s Ogimawkwe Mitigwaki, Queen of the Woods (1899).