Skip to main content

2015-16 Area Studies & Indigenous Ways of Knowing Fellows Symposium

November 6, 2015

2015 Indigenous Area Studies Fellows

2015 Indigenous Area Studies Fellows

Emerging from the fruitful convergences of an emergent Arctic Studies program and on-going cross-campus projects on Native and Indigenous Studies, the Canadian Studies Center, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, the Jackson School of International Studies, American Indian Studies and the Comparative History of Ideas program invite graduate students to apply for support of research that contributes to a dialogue between Area Studies and Indigenous Ways of Knowing. With support from the College of Arts and Sciences.

This fellowship grant is part of a broad effort to re-think the epistemological, methodological and geographical orientations of area studies, and explore the transformational encounters with Native and Indigenous intellectual traditions and frameworks. Students were encouraged to consider projects that engage central and long-standing debates in area studies research like sovereignty, governance, territory, natural resource management, social movements, and security (to name only a few) and put these in dialogue with knowledge-systems, intellectual traditions, and Native knowledge-production as they take place in various sites throughout the world. Projects took the form of an article manuscript or an artistic, or creative work (film, video, fiction, poetry etc.). See fellows and projects below.

Iris cara angelical 2015

Iris Cristal Viveros Avendano

Iris Crystal Viveros Avendano, Ph.D. program, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (research advisors, Angela Ginorio and Michelle Habell-Pallan, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)
Title: “Mujer Remolino/Whirling Woman: A Decolonial Reinterpretation of Maria Sabina’s Healing Ceremonies and Chants”
Abstract: Area studies have primarily relied on the tools of the modern disciplines of anthropology, geography, history, political science, and linguistics which arose at the same time as colonial expansion. Notions of the rational human underlie the epistemologies of these knowledge projects and are presumed to travel, unproblematically, across sovereign territories. This research project proposes de-colonizing such epistemologies by contextualizing the life of Mexican Indigenous healer Maria Sabina, her encounters with ethnomycologist, G.R. Wasson, and the retelling of Maria Sabina’s story by contemporary people of her community in Mexico. This paper will intervene in debates around cultural sovereignty in order to construct different ways of interpretation and understanding indigenous ways of knowing.

Laura Maria De Vos, Ph.D. program, English (research advisor, Dian Million, American Indian Studies)
Title: “Coastal and Coast Salish Peoples’ Affective Epistemologies And Praxes of Sovereignty: A New Approach For Area Studies”

Laura Maria De Vos 2015

Laura Maria De Vos

Abstract: A decolonial understanding of Area Studies organized across Western borders can partner with Indigenous Peoples to grasp the affective relational, reciprocal, responsible understanding of sovereignty which can effectively alter the Western organization of space and territory and allow for a reclaiming of Indigenous rights to territories and self-determination.


Patrick Lozar, Ph.D. program, History (research advisor, Alexandra Harmon, American Indian Studies)
Title: “Behind and Beyond the Line: Indigenous Peoples, Nation-States, and International Borders on the Columbia Plateau, 1890s-1910s”

Patrick Lozar 2015

Patrick Lozar

Abstract: My research advances an indigenous critique of the primacy of the area studies-oriented nation-state. Asserting conceptualizations of indigenous sovereignty and territoriality along the national peripheries of Canada and the US exposes the limitations, artificiality, and presumed centrality of the nation-state. Specifically, I show how native groups contested and transcended the imposition of national borders by engaging indigenous geographies.

Jason Young, Ph.D. program, Geography (research advisor, Sarah Elwood-Faustino, Geography)
Title: “Canadian Governance, Inuit Activism, and Digital Representation”

Abstract: This research examines how Inuit use digital technologies to intervene in international discussions about the Arctic. Broadly, the research asks what types of politics Inuit are practicing through digital media, how these practices compare with the use of digital media by Canadian political organizations to extend governance practices, and how the interaction of these different practices produces globally-accessible representations of the Arctic as an emerging geopolitical region.


Jason Young 2015

Jason Young

Tatiana Kalaniopua Young, Ph.D. program, Anthropology (research advisor, Miriam Kahn, Anthropology)
Title: “Re-making the Passage Home: U.S. Occupation, Abandonment and Reclaiming National Lands in Contemporary Hawai’i”
Abstract: Hawaii’s precarious political position as an American outpost in the political and economic affairs of the Asia-Pacific region is an important site for area studies research that includes international relations and indigenous ways of knowing. Growing international pressures to challenge imperialism, austerity and the illegal seizing of lands by colonial powers comports with grassroots concerns and actions operating within the Hawaiian Movement.