The summer 2022 NCAIS Institute centers on long-held Indigenous relationships to land and water and on recent Indigenous art, activism, and scholarship through which Indigenous peoples are addressing issues of climate change and sovereignty. We will focus on the Mississippi river and its networks, while looking to other water networks and activism for case studies and theoretical insights. This summer’s institute recognizes the gathering of Native Nations and water protectors to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing the Missouri river at Standing Rock in 2016 as a cataclysmic moment of international reflection on Indigenous rights and responses to climate change. Over the course of four weeks, we will work to understand these ongoing Indigenous movements and connections to river spaces across time and within the particularity of relationships to place and homelands. Through reading Indigenous Studies scholarship, interacting with materials in Newberry archives, and engaging with Indigenous artists and artworks, we will seek to understand riverscapes through Indigenous Studies methods alongside contemporary Native responses to climate change.
In our inquiry into river relationships and the Indigenous Mississippi, we will consider various kinds of archives that speak to relationships between Native Nations and Mississippi river spaces. Our readings, Newberry collection presentations, guest speakers, and outings will help expand our idea of how knowledge and memory is collected, kept, and understood. Some guiding questions include: How are Indigenous artists and Native Nations responding to issues of climate change that affect Mississippi River networks? How are these responses drawn from long-standing relationships with these lands and waters? How do archival materials speak to both the histories of Indigenous relationships to Mississippi river spaces and ongoing efforts to respond to climate threats and protect Indigenous sovereignty? How do contemporary Native writers and artists use, interpret, and access both traditional Western and Indigenous archives? How might the riverscape, itself, be understood as an archive or repository of these histories and relationships?
The NCAIS Summer Institute is a four-week-long intensive graduate course held during the summer at The Newberry Library in Chicago. Participants are provided with housing in Chicago, receive a $600 living stipend, and will be reimbursed for travel expenses. If you have questions about the institute, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fernanda Campos, University of Chicago
James Chalmers, University of Manitoba
Ben Clingman, University of Colorado-Boulder
Analiesa Delgado, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Sasheene Denny, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Teagan Dreyer, Oklahoma State University
Thomas Kahle, University of Oklahoma
Mariana Gutierrez Lowe, Northwestern University
Noah Mapes, Cornell University
Jessie Merriam, University of Minnesota
Vivienne Muller, University of California-Davis
Dylan Nelson, Harvard University
Bethany Palkovitz, University of Washington
Eric Toups, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Joseph Ukockis, University of New Mexico
Anna Whitney, University of Michigan
The Summer Institute is only available to graduate students in NCAIS-affiliated institutions.