May 4, 2023
We welcome submissions of proposals from early-career scholars working in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) to participate in a one-day symposium at Boston University, on May 4, 2023. Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and scholars working in a variety of fields, periods, and across media, have called for a reevaluation of traditional Western epistemologies that privilege textual evidence as the only reliable resource for creating historical narratives. Textual archives are inherently limited and often privilege elite historical actors who had access to literacy. This critique of empiricism – evident in NAIS, Black Studies, American Studies, and Queer Studies, among other fields – has inspired new considerations of long-established modes of storytelling and knowledge keeping.
This symposium aims to showcase the work of scholars who are inspired by Indigenous modes of knowledge production that might engage textual archives but also use artifacts, oral tradition, and non-alphabetic material texts. Relatedly, it aims to further reflection and discussion among attendees upon the methods, resources, and aesthetic practices we use to tell stories about the past. Presentations (25-30 minutes) should be drawn from current research projects and include reflections on these methodological issues.
Philip J. Deloria, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University, will read the presentations in advance and deliver a formal response at the conclusion of the symposium.
To be eligible for this symposium, scholars must be in the early stages of their career and from a racial or ethnic group that is underrepresented in the academy. “Early stage” is defined as someone who is working on a dissertation or has a Ph.D. but does not have a tenure-track appointment.
We are planning this as an in-person event to be held on BU’s campus. Participants in the symposium will receive a modest honorarium, travel expenses, and lodging in Boston for two nights. The event is funded by the Emerging Scholars Program at Boston University, sponsored by the offices of Diversity & Inclusion at the Provostial level and in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is being organized by BU’s American & New England Studies Program, with support from the Departments of English and History.
Please submit a 500-word abstract and CV by November 1, 2022, to Accepted participants will be notified by December 1, 2022.
Inquiries: Prof. Joseph Rezek, Director, American & New England Studies Program:

Recommended Posts