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.


We are inviting papers for a seminar to be hosted at the American Comparative Literature Association's 2015 Annual Meeting, in Seattle, Washington on March 26-29. This seminar explores how settler colonial studies contribute to our study of comparative literature, both within and beyond Anglophone settler spaces. 

Recent scholarship has re-conceptualized settler colonialism as a distinct structure of domination. Despite inherent heterogeneity within settler and indigenous societies, structural opposition between the two continues beyond invasion. As such, ethnic minorities in white settler countries may participate in indigenous dispossession, and third-world postcolonial nation states may have untold histories of settler colonialism. Settler colonial history in the global scale thus entails particularly complex flows of power and structures of relation, whereby one moves vertically (structurally) from being indigenous to being settler (or vise-versa) along the horizontal global flows of migration, invasion, and settlement. In this framework, it may also become possible to examine migrants in Australia, the USA, Canada, and New Zealand for their participation in the settler order, and to query how much settler colonial domination has given legitimacy to states like Taiwan or Japan's many islands and contributed to the ongoing conflicts in Israel or the Chinese borderlands.

In response to these complex networks of relation brought to light by settler colonial studies, this seminar examines the particular challenges and new possibilities in reading literatures comparatively across settler colonial conditions and structural positions, between postcolonial, indigenous, and ethnic literary studies. What may be our new ethos and strategies of reading and how can we engage with the particular temporal and spatial juxtapositions and scaling in settler texts? In what sense may it be productive to study literatures outside of the Anglophone settler colonies as settler colonial? Then, do settler literatures in Chinese, Japanese, or other tongues, invoke distinct literary traditions to narrate settlement and do these narratives produce divergent structures of relation? Perhaps even more importantly, can literary texts effectively narrate and envision the decolonization of settler colonialism? 

We welcomes theoretical and methodological explorations of comparative settler colonial literary studies, close readings of specific sites of settler colonial heterogeneity, or comparative works that investigate relations across locations, languages, or political systems. 

To submit a paper proposal, please visit the ACLA website at
For questions, please contact Yu-ting Huang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 .