See all the photos from the symposium here.
A Thank you and Re-Cap of the 1st Annual NAS Gradaute Student Symposium - "Engaging the Indigenous Americas"
The 1st Annual Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium was a tremendous success! In addition to the 5 moderators, 3 faculty participants, and 19 presenters, over 40 audience members from various departments across campus joined in the dialogues and conversations that took place in the Risling Room of Hart Hall.
For our inaugural year, the Native American Graduate Student Association transformed the Risling Room into a colorful display of student artwork, crafts, and presentations. Entering the room, attendees were greeted with California Indian basket weavings, Diné weavings looms and rugs, and 6 large pieces of Alicia María Siu’s canvas paintings, one of which was Iyat Pahtli (Tabacco Medicine), the symposium’s image for this years theme “Engaging the Indigenous Americas.”
Over the following eight hours, we listened, dialogued, ate, and began the steps of developing interdisciplinary communities. In addition to the stellar presentations from all participants and NAS faculty, moderators and audience members engaged with keen observations, questions, and suggestions that promoted much needed conversations on issues such as hemispheric philosophies, Native American literatures, visual sovereignty, approaches to Native histories, Indigenous epistemologies, and accountabilities to community.
Associate Professor Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie opened the space with a blessing reminding us of the footprints that we follow as scholars of Native American Studies. While the path through academia may be filled with obstacles, departments like NAS and events like our Graduate Student Symposium are helping to prepare us with tools to face the challenges and enjoy the travels.
Dr. Martha Macri’s keynote talk allowed for personal and professional insight to the hemispheric, interdisciplinary, and multi-lingual philosophies of the UC Davis Native American Studies Department. The day-long event ended with NAS student presentations of creative work, hosted by Dr. Inés Hernández-Avila who opened the session with a song, encapsulating the title of the session: “An evening of flower and song,” and closed the session with a reading for her mother. During the session, Alicia María Siu offered a keynote address about the artwork displayed throughout the day. NAS graduate students followed, highlighting their own creative activities such as California Indian basket weaving, Diné rug weavings, poetry, blog writing, and photography displays, reminding us that art is another facet of critical inquiry, knowledge, theory, and praxis.
After the symposium we left the Risling Room encouraged, not only because of the positive turn out but more importantly, because of the sense of community on the Davis campus. The work presented throughout the day was truly inspiring and reflected the solid work coming from UC Davis graduate students who critically engage Indigenous communities and ways of knowing. We are grateful to everyone who contributed in some form to the success of this event and look forward to next year’s symposium.
Archives of the day’s event will be available in the near future; so don’t forget to check back in with our symposium page.
Thank you from the symposium committee co chairs – Patricia Killelea and Christine M. Willie
Photos are courtesy of NAS Graduate Student Bayu Kristianto
An Invite and Note from our Symposium Chairs (Christine Willie and Patricia Killelea) Join us this Friday April 13!
We are excited to announce that on Friday, April 13, 2012 the Native American Studies Graduate Student Association will host the 1st Annual Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium. This year’s symposium theme is “Engaging the Indigenous Americas.” In efforts to build interdisciplinary dialogue and promote scholarship and activism that will benefit our Academic and Native communities, we welcomed proposals from all current UC Davis graduate students whose research critically addresses the issues, concerns, and lives of Indigenous peoples of the Americas.
There is often discussion of the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to Indigenous research, but we wanted to see what that would actually look like in practice. Our vision was to find out who was studying Native communities, histories, languages, and practices on campus so we could start talking. Our hope was and is to not only make networks for future collaborations but to form a larger community on the UC Davis campus, bringing together graduate students with a sense of investment in the betterment of the lives and peoples of the Indigenous Americas. In the future, we hope to expand the symposium to include other UC campuses and community members. For now, by sticking to the Davis campus we are afforded the opportunity and experience of putting together a more manageably-sized symposium for the first time around, which was both rewarding and challenging.
We are grateful to the Department of Native American Studies for co-hosting this unique event. Professors Inés Hernández-Avila, Martha Macri, and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie were also very supportive and their participation adds a level of awesomeness to our program. Many others also answered the call for symposium planning, especially Tina Tansey and Stella Mancillas whose dedication to NAS student and department projects never wavers. Brook Colley, Cutcha Risling Baldy, Angel Hinzo, and Matthew Casey all worked hard to secure funding and without them this event would not be possible. Cutcha’s experience and expertise brought a much-needed sense of organization and confidence to this project. Brook’s suggestion to video record panels in order to create an archive allows us to share our work beyond our campus and we hope to post those as they become available. History Ph.D. candidate Ryan Tripp’s enthusiasm to join our project made it abundantly clear that the need for interdepartmental collaboration is both necessary and urgent on the UC Davis campus. Our presenters and moderators answered this call for collaboration as evidenced by the wide range of participating disciplines: Native American Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Community Development, Cultural Studies, English, History, and Spanish & Portuguese. Sarah Laudenslayer at the Women’s Recruitment and Retention Center dedicated not only her design vision but also her time and patience to develop promotional materials for the symposium. Lastly, thank you to Alicia María Siu whose artwork Iyat Pahtli (Tobacco Medicine) embodies the hemispheric approach that we wish to bring to the symposium and our research, reminding us that creative approaches to Indigenous knowledge are invaluable and honored.
Did we mention that there will be snacks? :) We will have free flowing coffee, tea, water, and munchies in addition to our keynote luncheon and dessert reception. We hope that you join us for this exciting day of exchange as we engage the Indigenous Americas!
A special thanks to all of our sponsors:
Department of Native American Studies
College of Letters and Sciences: Division of Arts & Cultural Studies
Graduate Student Association
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center
Native American Studies Graduate Student Association
Office of Graduate Studies
Student Recruitment and Retention Center
UC Davis Native American Faculty Association
Women’s Resources and Research Center
Thank you once again from the Native American Graduate Student Symposium Committee Co-Chairs
- Patricia Killelea and Christine M. Willie
Welcome to the Davis Native American Studies Graduate Student Blog. This blog was started as a place to update on all of the amazing work that is being done by the Graduate Students in the UC Davis Native American Studies Department. The Graduate Program in Native American Studies was approved in 1998, making UC Davis only the second university in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Native American Studies. In Fall 1999, the Department welcomed its first group of students enrolled in the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in Native American Studies.
This blog is an independent site run by the NAS Grad Students at UCD. The views expressed on this website are not the views of UC Davis Native American Studies nor the University of California Davis and/or its affiliates.