Indigeneity in the Americas – Fall 2018

This semester’s theme will explore the meaning and importance of Indigeneity in the Americas in relation to both reservation and urban Native communities and their neighboring non-Native communities. More specifically, we will explore the ways that power and privilege in the dominant society has related to Native and Indigenous subjectivities, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexualities, and class. For example, to what extent do historical policies imposed by nation-state governments – like blood quantum – disproportionately discriminate against or disadvantage Indigenous peoples of multiracial ancestry, Indigenous women, and Indigenous peoples of the third and fourth genders?

We will also address how Indigenous scholarship continues to chart new frameworks for analyzing Indigenous cultural production, Indigenous activism, and Indigenous innovation across disciplines, genres, and regions. How do Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, for instance, come to know and relate to terms like subjectivity, agency, power, privilege, race, gender, or settler colonialism? How do these terms, in turn, shape Indigeneity in the Americas? Finally, we will address the question of Indigeneity in the Americas in order to ascertain how bridging Indigenous knowledge and Western knowledge is already and will continue to contribute to the critical study of a host of economic, political, social, and cultural issues—from climate change to violence against women to the inequality of resources– being faced by Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike.

Jane Mt. Pleasant

Cornell University

The Paradox of Productivity: Lessons from an Indigenous Agriculture

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Live Stream Link

Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) agricultural systems in the 17th and 18th centuries were three to five times as productive as their European counterparts at the same time. This lecture provides insights into this ‘paradox of productivity.’

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and a Civic Learning and Engagement Initiative Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and the departments of anthropology & archaeology, American studies, environmental studies, philosophy, history and the food studies program. It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series and its semester theme, Indigeneity in the Americas.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Jane Mt. Pleasant, associate professor in the Horticulture Section of School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University, studies indigenous cropping systems and their productivity. Using her expertise in agricultural science, she examines agriculture from a multi-disciplinary perspective that includes history, archeology, paleobotany, and cultural/social anthropology. Although much of her work has focused on Haudenosaunee agriculture in the 16 through 18th centuries, more recently Read more

Dovie Thomason

Storyteller and Activist

Residency: Monday, October 29 – Friday, November 2, 2017

How the Wild West was Spun

Thursday, November 1, 2018
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Thomason’s story begins in 1887, eleven years after the battle of the Little Big Horn, when Buffalo Bill Cody brought his premiere of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West to Europe, cementing Cody as one of the most famous people of his day. His show, which he called The Drama of Civilization, attracted millions and affected perceptions of history to the present day.

This residency is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and a Civic Learning and Engagement Initiative Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and the departments of English, anthropology & archaeology, sociology, history, American studies, and theatre & dance.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Dovie Thomason has been a storyteller and lecturer for over thirty years, sharing the importance of Indigenous narratives and arts to give voice to untold stories of Indigenous America. Her  ability to craft tales that not only enchant audiences––but also
raise provocative questions about Indigenous realities ––has long made her an inspiriting contributor to schools and organizations across Read more

Dan Longboat – Roronhiakewen (He Clears the Sky)

Trent University

Honoring Indigeneity: Indigenous Knowledge(s) and Indigenous Sovereignty

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

For millennia Indigenous Nations have cared for and actively engaged with the landscape and through our respective cultures and unique ways of life have worked to create the bio-diverse richness of the Americas. Today, the Americas are confronted by a complexity of issues and problems that Indigenous Knowledge(s) can help to address. But we’ll need to start from the beginning, opening our minds to learning, understanding and honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and the departments of anthropology & archaeology, American studies, psychology, environmental studies, and earth sciences. It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series and its semester theme, Indigeneity in the Americas.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Dan Longboat – Roronhiakewen (He Clears the Sky) is a Turtle Clan member of the Mohawk Nation and a citizen of the Rotinonshón:ni (Haudenosaunee – People of the Longhouse), originally from Ohsweken – the Six Nations community on the Grand River. Longboat is an associate professor in the Read more