Past American Indian Studies Seminars

Past Seminars

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, April 16, 2014
Going Home Again: Mapping Connections through the Oneida Homeland Tours

Kristina Ackley, Evergreen State College

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Materiality Matters : Constructing a Rhetorical Biography of Plains Indian Pictography

The recent explosion of material and object-oriented theories in the Western traditions of philosophy, anthropology, literary studies, and rhetoric, among others, resonate with the millennia-long traditions of American Indian ontologies that recognize humans’ role as one, equal entity among others in vast webs of interrelationships.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Cherokee-British Alliance in the Tennessee Corridor, 1670-1758

This essay explores the complexities of Cherokee-British interaction along the Tennessee River. Between 1670 and 1758 Europeans became aware of a “corridor” that could connect British Carolina with the Ohio Valley, the Wabash River, and the Illinois country via the Tennessee.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Have We Missed the Boat? : Dugout Canoes in the Mississippi Valley

We know far more about the iconic birch bark canoe than we do about the large wooden dugout canoes that were central to Native American life along vast sections of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers at the time of European contact, and for many centuries before that.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Native Rules : U.S. Imperial Desire and the Struggle for Cuba Libre

The 1850s were marked by the rapid expansion of U.S. territory. Almost all of these physical extensions of empire were joined by heated debates about Indigenous sovereignty. A site of particular interest was Cuba, as evidenced by the popularity of Narciso López’s various filibustering attempts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
A New Paradigm for Pre-Columbian Agriculture in North America

For much of the 20th century many scholars have claimed that indigenous farmers in North America were marginal producers who often sowed the seeds of their own downfall through their negative impacts on the resource base. I use an agronomic analysis to deconstruct this argument, focusing on soil and crop characteristics that shape agricultural systems.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
‘Villages Built Close Together’ : How Town Identities Determined Native Nations in the Revolutionary Great Lakes

While scholars generally assume that villages and tribes ordered Indian Country in the past, there are few community studies to either support or challenge this view. Reconstructing local life along the Wabash Valley through maps, language, and ethnobotany illustrates how people (Miami, Shawnee, and others) practiced their ethnicities in the late eighteenth century.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Native Studies Criteria For Assessing Candidates

When Native Studies as a discipline was first launched in 1969, it was a movement to indigenize a space within the academy. After mainstream universities’ initial rush to initiate Native Studies programs, indigenizing a space, even after four decades, has proven difficult.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The Wish for a White West : Welsh Indians and the Early Republic

In 1576, John Dee claimed that Prince Madoc of Wales colonized North America in 1170. Via the “Doctrine of Discovery” and England’s absorption of Wales, Dee voided Spanish claims and justified British colonization. The legend resurfaced in the 1790s, when Anglo-Americans claimed western lands, the Mississippi valley.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Traveling Through Indian Countries

Contemporary maps of the overland trail tend to lay the routes across present-day state borders. Embracing these anachronistic boundaries deflects attention from the defining feature of the overland trail, namely, that Euro-Americans journeyed through lands occupied and controlled by American Indians.

Friday, May 3, 2013 to Saturday, May 4, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Why You Can’t Teach U.S. History without American Indians : A Newberry Symposium Commemorating 40th year of the McNickle Center

Despite the large number of faculty trained in American Indian history very little has changed and most college level students who enroll in large survey courses in U.S. history learn about Indians during the initial stages of encounter and then, Indians are often depicted as succumbing to epidemic diseases or being pushed off their lands by westward expansion.

Monday, April 29, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
CALL FOR PAPERS: 2013-14 American Indian Studies Seminar

Submission Deadline: 29 April 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Good Fences Make Good Citizens : Citizen-Indians and Home Rule in Southern

The paper examines how California Indians resisted the pull of assimilation to non-Indian culture and undermined the homogeneity of federal Indian citizenship policy in the early twentieth century. Prior to 1924, Indians wishing to become United States citizens had to first demonstrate their assimilation to American culture through the ownership and appropriate use of land.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The Indian Prince in London : Abolitionists and the Second Seminole War

In June 1843 American and British abolitionists convened in London for the second General World’s Anti-Slavery Convention. On the second day, delegates were treated to a visit from a Seminole Indian boy, who was introduced to the crowd as “a young Seminole Indian prince” named Nikkanochee.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The Extermination of Kennewick Man’s Authenticity through Discourse

The Extermination of Kennewick Man’s Authenticity through Discourse examines the intersection of Baudrillard’s simulation and simulacra with Foucault’s construct biopolitics in the media discourse surrounding Kennewick Man—a 9,400 year‐old skeleton discovered in 1996.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Roots, Patterns and Priorities of Place-making in New Mexico

This paper analyzes and compares the roots, patterns and priorities of place-making in American Indian, Hispanic and Anglo and traditions in New Mexico. The relative importance given to values of permanence, propinquity, sustainability and land tenure, and the perceived relationship between manmade and natural landscapes will be interpreted through both legislation and legend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Visions and Visages : Constructing Indigeneity in Indians at Work, 1933-1945

From 1933-1945, the Office of Indian Affairs used the publication Indians at Work to document and promote the various emergency work programs that employed Native peoples in the United States.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Listening to Mohawk Women : Oral Tradition and Historiography

In contrast to considerable scholarship on Iroquoian diplomacy, warfare, and religion, there is surprisingly little research on post-contact eighteenth-century Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Righting the Histories, Writing the Stories : Literary History in the Works of LeAnne Howe

Insisting that history must be understood as a series of subjective interpretations of events, Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe changes canonized histories, rewriting and narrating those events to propose reconsidered Choctaw subjectivities.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Traditional Wampum and Pipe Traditions of the Northeastern Algonquian : Part of a Cultural Complex of Confederacies?

This paper examines the extent of the “Covenant Chain” of the Iroquois Confederacy in terms of its connections to other Indian Nations of the Northeast during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Over the past decade a number of remnant Eastern tribes, have attempted a renewal of these past relationships.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Cherokee Females at the Heart of Early Nineteenth Century Cherokee Society

My research project will contribute to the expansive work Theda Perdue has accomplished in her seminal text, Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835 (London and Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998). I plan to write a monograph exposing how Cherokee males revered Cherokee females and elevated them to realms of utmost respect and honor.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
In Those Days Indians Thought A Lot of Their Children : Illustrating the Nation Through Family, 1880-1940

This paper argues that Kiowas composed their nation through family and kinship relations, and I posit that material culture constituted and illuminated kin ties that formed the foundation of the Kiowa nation. Kiowa individuals and families extended, maintained, and cemented these bonds by making and giving material items such as regalia, which manifested kinship bonds that connected them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Authorized Agents : The O’Fallon Delegation of 1822 and the Performance of Publicity

This paper examines the public events surrounding Benjamin O’Fallon’s 1822 delegation of Plains Indian leaders. The O’Fallon delegation brought Pawnee, Omaha, Kansas, Oto, and Missouri leaders to Washington DC for the first time, where they met with President Monroe, sat for portraits, attended social gatherings, and were at the center of various public performances.

Friday, April 27, 2012
Call for Papers: AIS Seminar Series, AY 2012-13

American Indian Studies Seminar Series, AY 2012-13
Submission Deadline: April 27, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The Shows on the Road : Native and African American Circus Employees Seize Labor, Travel and Educational Opportunities Across the Nation and Around the World

While generally overlooked in circus histories, Native and African American circus employees had a broad impact on entertainment, art and culture at the turn of the twentieth century.  This paper examines how they used a window of opportunity in the traveling circus industry to create networks beneficial to their wider careers, education and travel options.  Employees used the circus

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Joseph Genetin-Pilawa and Agathe Cabau

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for American History and Culture

The Federal City and Indigenous Space: Imaging and Imagining Colonialism in Nineteenth-Century Washington DC
Joe Genetin-Pilawa, Illinois College
This seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for American History and Culture

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Sanitizing “Indians” in America’s Thanksgiving Story

In addition to entertaining, children’s books educate by exposing youngsters to diverse cultures and experiences. In the case of Thanksgiving stories, they provide children’s first, and often only, exposure to “Indians,” while promoting a history that endorses the vanished race stereotype in order to glorify colonization.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Reimagining Cherokee Identity : Migration, Culture, & the Law, 1866-1889

This paper analyzes how the leaders of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory struggled to come to terms with the socio-legal implications of Cherokee migration. In the decades after the Civil War, levels Cherokee migration not seen since the Trail of Tears raised new questions about Cherokee identity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Indian Lands and Imperial Authorities : The Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth-Century Ohio River Valley

Europeans misunderstood Indian identity and misrepresented the ethnically diverse villages of the thousand mile-long Ohio River valley in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Ethnicity was complex, villages diverse, and intermarriage commonplace. Villages were united by bonds of kinship, and tribal boundaries were rarely defined.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Clans, Lineages, and Ethnic Identity Among the Ottawa (Odawa) of Northern Michigan

This paper examines the role of clans and lineages among the Ottawa (especially the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa) and Chippewa (Ojibwa) of northern Michigan from the 17th century to the present day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Transnational Progressives : African Americans, Native Americans, and the Universal Races Congress

The Progressive Era is often depicted as a time of white middle class moral and social reform, and calls for transforming an ever-decaying U.S. society. This period was also marked by U.S. colonial expansion abroad, and, often forgotten, at home. African Americans and Native Americans were also proponents of moral and social change. However, they sought an end to U.S. colonialism at home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Tracing the Jumano

The Jumano have intrigued several generations of scholars because of their ubiquitous historical presence in New Mexico, Coahuila and Texas and their historical relationships with other Native American groups as well with the Spanish and the French.

Saturday, May 21, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Colonial Tribes or Indian Conquistadors? : Indigenous Peoples and European Expansion in Northeastern Brazil, 1550-1700

Recent studies have shown that indigenous peoples played an indispensable role as military allies of European colonial powers in Mesoamerica and Eastern North America. A similar argument can be made about the role of indigenous peoples in the European conquest of Northeastern Brazil.

Thursday, April 21, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Quetzalcoatl : Cosmogonic Ruler, Redemptive Priest, and Noble Savage

The Mexican Highland god Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) has held the imagination of two radically different cultures and peoples living in three different historical contexts: the Late Postclassic, Early Colonial and presently.  My eventual goal is to begin interrogating primitivist categories governing selected contemporary images of Quetzalcoatl.  I will argue tha

Thursday, March 31, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Faces of Conquest : Cochimí Indians and the Spanish Colonization of Alta California

My paper examines the participation of Cochimí Indians from Baja California in the Spanish colonization of Alta California, the modern state of California.  This paper describes the context within which Baja California’s Cochimí Indians made their decision to volunteer for Spain’s northward expeditions into Alta California in 1769-1770.  I identify the ways in which i

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The Rhetoric of Simon Pokagon : Claims of Equality, Appeals for Reconciliation & Inclusion

This essay focuses on tribal leader Simon Pokagon and his novel Queen of the Woods, first published in 1899. In it, I explore the ways in which Pokagon’s writing served as a memorial and monument to Native peoples. Simon Pokagon was a celebrity in Chicago during his lifetime and was a featured speaker at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Thursday, February 24, 2011
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Drowning Gods and Developing Prayer Sites : Termination, Reclamation, Religious Freedom, and Financial Independence in Navajoland, 1947-1980

In 1974, eight Navajo singers filed a lawsuit, Badoni v.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The Emergence of the American Indian Art Community of Chicago

An excerpt from a chapter of my dissertation (in progress), which explores the ways in which the cultural productions of the arts have contributed to the persistence of a Chicago American Indian community, this essay is an introduction to that community from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Thursday, December 2, 2010
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
The End of Pre-History : Environmental Epistemology in the Lower Ohio River Valley

By examining the ways in which behavior and perception—culture—maintain a dynamic, reciprocally constitutive relationship with the environment, this essay attempts to bring cultural history into closer negotiation with scientific analyses of environmental development.  As landscapes set parameters and physical contingencies, culture assigns meanings and continually infuses

Thursday, October 28, 2010
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Geographies of Power : Mapping Indian Borders in the ‘Borderlands’ of the Early Southwest

“Geographies of Power: Mapping Indian Borders in the ‘Borderlands’ of the Early Southwest” confronts the problem that, in pursuing inclusive models for the intersections of diverse people across North America, early American scholars have lost sight of the integrity of bordered Indian domains and the power that gave them in their interactions with Europeans.  In contrast t

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Shaken Spirits : Cherokees, Moravian Missionaries, and The New Madrid Earthquakes, 1811-12

From December 1811 through the spring of 1812, a series of massive earthquakes rattled the eastern half of North America.  At a mission site in Cherokee country, Moravians and Cherokees met to discuss the earthquakes’ meaning.  This paper uses their earthquake interpretations to trace a wider grappling for interpretive authority between Cherokees and Moravians.  Contemporary cult

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
American Indian Studies Seminar: Pocahontas of the Lava Beds : Gendered Discourses of Civilization and the Political Economy of Remembering US-Indian Violence in Late Nineteenth Century Popular Culture

Today, the story of Winema is part of the collective memory of colonialism in southern Oregon and Northern California. She is remembered as the Pocahontas of the Lava Beds,” and there are hotels, restaurants, streets and schools named after her.