CFP: Indian Identity and the Future of Tribal Sovereignty (5/1/06; 7/27/06-7/29/06)
CFP: Indian Identity and the Future of Tribal Sovereignty (5/1/2006;
7/27-7/29/2006) Consciousness, Self-Consciousness and Cultural Identity
More than thirty years since the development of American Indian studies as
an academic discipline the issue of Indian identity and authenticity
continue to be hotly debated issues. In 2002, for instance, Delphine Shaw,
who publishes under the name Delphine Red Shirt, published a critique in
American Indian Quarterly on New England Indians, entitled "These are Not
Indians." In this essay the author voiced her reservations concerning the
Indian-ness of Connecticut Native peoples. Central to this opinion was the
claim—without citing any evidence—that in regards to the "once proud people
who lived in this state of Quinecktecut. These races have died out." If that
"terminal creed," to use the terminology of Gerald Vizenor, couched in the
vernacular of colonial nostalgia, was not bizarre enough, she ends her
polemic with a "challenge" for "all the press and tv stations to include
photos and footage of these individuals who claim Native American heritage,"
because, according to her essentialist logic, Indian identity is manifested
in outward appearance alone.
That such manifestly racialist ideas are being expressed and published in
leading AIS journals and by leading publishers and institutions in the
field—the University of Nebraska Press recently chose Delphine Shaw (Red
Shirt) as editor for their series "Race and Ethnicity in the American West,"
illustrates the pervasiveness of the problem that Native people continue to
face. Although many Native scholars and writers were quick to denounce (Red
Shirt) Shaw's words as "myopic," "bigoted," "mean-spirited" and "ignorant,"
attacks such as Shaw's undermine, no doubt to the glee of Indian opponents,
the most basic tenets of tribal sovereignty and Indian self-determination.
Indian scholars and researchers have long recognized the genocidal logic
behind federally imposed blood-quantum requirements, but when Native people
themselves continue to use these hegemonic standards to dictate to other
Native people who is or is not Native, it is clear that internal
colonization continues to be one of the most serious challenges Indian
people face if they are to continue to be recognized as unique cultural
This proposed panel seeks thoughtful submissions on any aspect of this
vitally important topic and central theoretical issue in American Indian
Studies. Please send abstracts of 300 words--as a MS word attachment--along
with institutional and tribal affiliation, if applicable, by May 1, 2006 to
George Luskap at luskap_at_hotmail.com.
Consciousness, Self-Consciousness and Cultural Identity
27 to 30 July, 2006
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or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Tue Mar 07 2006 - 18:23:06 EST