Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

The premiere international & interdisciplinary professional organization for scholars, graduate students, independent researchers, and community members interested in all aspects of Indigenous Studies.


How are Indigenous definitions of sovereignty ‘written’ differently across Indigenous song, dance, oratory, pictographs and other expressive and material culture? How are these senses of sovereignty shared and experienced differently through their specific performative, linguistic, and material forms? While scholars have engaged the various activisms, affirmations and assertions of visual sovereignty (Rickard 1995, Raheja 2010), this seminar seeks to extend Indigenous theorizations of sovereignty in relation to other art form and other sensory domains. Participants are invited to compare the written, visual and aural political-aesthetic impacts of Indigenous law and protocol, and examine how different forms of Indigenous expression act not simply as the modes by which political messages are conveyed, but as forms of politics in and of themselves. Further questions participants might address include the following: How do written, sung, beaded or spoken ‘documents’ represent Indigenous law, or enact models of treaty and land title? How do protocols across Indigenous Nations and peoples affirm sovereignty and/or challenge Western conceptions of law? In what ways might we consider Indigenous aesthetic ‘acts’ similar or different to performative speech acts? In both contemporary and traditional forms, how do these various “song acts”, “dance acts” and even “beading acts” balance political efficacy with aesthetic engagement? How do such acts speak to Indigenous peoples, other-than-human relations, and settler publics? Interested participants across disciplines are encouraged to submit abstracts that pertain to written, visual, aural, and kinetic forms of Indigenous sovereignty, in addition to other affective and sensory registers (olfactory, gustatory).

To submit a proposal for this seminar please do so on the ACLA webpage:

For questions, please contact Dylan Robinson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

7th annual NAISA meeting
June 4-6, 2015
Washington, DC

Panel CfP: Settler Colonial Biopolitics and Indigenous Lifeways

Biopolitics has recently received considerable attention as a central paradigm of settler colonialism in various national and continental contexts (Mark Rifkin, Scott L. Morgensen, Michael R. Griffiths, Morgan Brigg, among others). What might be most notable about these analyses is how the attempts to biopolitically regulate Indigenous peoples strongly depend on Indigenous peoples’ utter depoliticization. In exercising biopolitics, settler colonial nation-states deny Indigenous nations the status of political entities in their own right, and ascribe to them instead the position of a population group among other groups that populate the territory over which a settler nation-state claims undisputed sovereignty. The main defining characteristic of the thus constituted indigenous population group is its separation via a “biopolitical caesura “(Joseph Pugliese) from the body politic proper of the settler nation-states, which also makes up the basis for government policies towards Indigenous peoples via their construction as an homogenous group, a biopolitical unit of, e,g, in the U.S., “Indians.” It is thus arguably a means by which settler colonial nation-states constitute their own norm and create ways to insist on it as a newly established normativity. Furthermore, as Foucault has famously traced biopolitics to a shift in sovereign rule that ‘makes live’ and helps to produce and foster lives of subjects, this construction of settler normativities includes a classification of life according to which biopolitical practices operate that foster some life forms and lifeways while restricting, limiting, or abandoning others by ‘declassifying’ them.

A discussion of settler-Indigenous relations under the adage of biopolitics thus offers the opportunity to ask how the founding moments of settler colonial nation states in their devaluation of Indigenous nations as polities and of Indigenous lives as worthy of consideration are intertwined, and continue to be significantly embedded in the mechanisms and the structures of settler colonial nation-states today. Furthermore, and maybe even more importantly, it poses the question to which degree Indigenous lifeways – manifest in the realms of the social, political, economic, bodily, sexual, and spiritual, among others, and grounded in distinct traditions and practices – may illustrate Indigenous epistemologies (forms, concepts, knowledges) and politics of life that counter, oppose or in other ways interact with dominant settler colonial biopolitics. In this manner, it is the stated goal of the workshop to consider and explore ‘life,’ which settler cultures define for Indigenous peoples predominantly as an apolitical and largely ahistorical existence, as a central concept and category for the political analysis and critique in settler-Indigenous relations, evolving formations of sovereignty and agency, and in concentrated efforts toward decolonization. This panel thus invites papers from all areas of study and all contexts of settler-Indigenous relations seeking to explore the complex relations and interactions between biopolitics and Indigenous lifeways with a specific interest in discussing the potential, or limits, of ‘life’ as a critical concept and political category in Indigenous Studies.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

- Concepts and politics of life and lifeways in Settler Colonial and Indigenous Studies
- Realms/practices of Indigenous lifeways and colonial biopolitical techniques/regulations
- (De)classifications of life and forms of life in settler-Indigenous relations (hierarchies, caesura, relationality)
- Biopolitics, normativities, and the naturalization of settler colonial rule
- Indigenous lifeways and questions of sovereignty, agency, and decolonization
- Indigenous bodies, lands, lives/lifeways and settler colonial biopolitics

Please send an abstract of up to 300 words and a short CV including your current affiliation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 24, 2014. I will notify you whether you have been accepted to the panel proposal by end of October. For any queries, please contact me via the same email address.

Dr. René Dietrich
Mainz University, Germany
American Studies

It’s time to assemble and submit your proposals for the Seventh Annual Meeting of NAISA, June 4-6, 2015 in Washington DC!

The online abstract collector is now up and running, and ready to accept your proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtables and film screenings. You will first need to create an account on the website (see link below), and then enter and submit your proposals.

Enter proposals at All of the detailed information about proposals can be found on the website. Deadline is November 3, 2014.

Please also consider volunteering to chair panels that the Program Committee will assemble out of individual paper submissions. To volunteer, use the "Volunteer to Chair a Panel" tab.

All persons working in Native American and Indigenous Studies are invited and encouraged to apply. Proposals are welcome from faculty and students in colleges, universities, and tribal colleges; from community-based scholars and elders; and from professionals working in the field.

Before submitting a proposal, please review the Guidelines for Preparing Abstracts for NAISA. All those accepted to the Program must be a NAISA member and must register for the meeting.

The School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, NM invites applications for its 2015–16 Resident Fellowships for Native Scholars.

SAR awards fellowships each year to scholars who have completed their research and analysis and who need time to think and write about topics important to the understanding of humankind. Two of these awards are restricted to Native scholars:

Katrin H. Lamon Fellowship for a Native American scholar, either pre- or post-doctoral, who works in the humanities or the social sciences.

Anne Ray Fellowship for a Native scholar with a Master’s or PhD in the arts, humanities, or social sciences to work on their own writing or curatorial research project. This may include research and writing for a future exhibition at an arts or cultural institution. In addition, the fellow will provide mentorship to the two Anne Ray interns working at the Indian Arts Research Center and help guide their intellectual development while facilitating their engagement with other scholars on the SAR campus.

Resident scholars may approach their research from anthropology or from related fields such as history, sociology, art, and philosophy. Competitive proposals have a strong empirical dimension, meaning that they address the facts of human life on the ground. They also situate the proposed research within a specific cultural or historical context and engage a broad scholarly literature. Applicants should make a convincing case for the intellectual significance of their projects and their potential contribution to a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

SAR provides resident scholars with low-cost housing and office space on campus, a stipend up to $40,000, library assistance, and other benefits during a nine-month tenure, from September 1 through May 31.

Deadline for applications is November 1st, 2014.

For more information on resident scholar fellowships and other SAR programs, please visit .


The broad use of Vizenor-created theoretical terms in many different academic fields (e.g. law, literature, anthropology, sociology, museum studies, etc.) highlights the fact that Vizenor Studies represents a significant interdisciplinary conversation within the broader field of Indigenous Studies. As such, the editors of Transmotion will look for submissions of critical essays that do any of the following:

Look at Vizenor’s work directly, as well as the work of related authors and theorists in the field
Employ Vizenor’s theory to look at other writers
Continue Vizenor’s project of bringing together traditional indigenous knowledges and Asian or European continental philosophy
Explore the inter-relation of image and text, art and literature, in Vizenor’s work
Contribute to recent developing conversations in contemporary Native American art and literature, in relation to questions of visual sovereignty, visuality, and ethics.
Offer innovative, surprising, unexpected and creative critique of American Indian literatures or other creative arts
Emphasize experimental, theoretical, and avant-garde Native North American work

The journal will also accept creative or hybrid work, provided that such work aligns aesthetically with the aforementioned editorial emphasis. The editors particularly welcome submissions of innovative and creative works that exploit digital media.

Transmotion is hosted by the University of Kent and produced in collaboration with European University Cyprus, California State University San Bernardino and the University of Georgia, under a Creative Commons license. All submissions will be double-blind peer reviewed, in a process reviewed by our editorial board, who will also approve each issue.

Enquiries regarding submission are welcome and may be sent to the editors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Scholarly articles should be 20-25 pages in length, prepared according to the MLA Style Manual. Creative work can be of any length. We are also very keen for scholars to put themselves forward as potential book reviewers and to volunteer to be anonymous peer reviewers.

Information regarding on-line submissions of full drafts can be found at:


David J. Carlson (California State University San Bernardino)
James Mackay (European University Cyprus)
David Stirrup (University of Kent)
Laura Adams Weaver (University of Georgia)
Editorial Board

Jennifer Andrews (University of New Brunswick)
Scott Andrews (California State University Northridge)
Kimberly Blaeser (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Jill Doerfler (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Hsinya Huang (National Sun Yat-sen University)
A. Robert Lee (University of Murcia)
David L. Moore (University of Montana)
Margaret Noodin (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Jace Weaver (University of Georgia)