Naisa

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.


Due: July 1, 2017

Edited By Jennifer Adese, Robert Alexander Innes, and Zoe S. Todd

The chapters featured in this edited volume explore complexities of what we, the editors, term “Indigenous Celebrity.” “Indigenous Celebrity” is in many ways a placeholder for complex and diverse relationships between Indigenous peoples and the notion of celebrity. As the only book dedicated to the topic of celebrity as it relates to Indigeneity, this book will offer foundational articles for theorizing Indigeneity and celebrity and offer a basis for thinking about such dynamics.

The idea of “celebrity” is not new to Indigenous people and yet there is very little work addressing it in explicit contexts. In historical contexts Indigenous celebrity was often driven by desires of Western Europeans to “view” and interact with Indigenous people in ways that affirmed deeply ingrained racial stereotypes (a desire so rampant that it in turn led to the proliferation of white people – such as Grey Owl – “playing Indian” for the purposes of “celebrity as career”). While this fascination with Indians and Indianness has not disappeared (nor has the question of playing Indian for the purposes of celebrity, a question recently raised with respect to acclaimed author Joseph Boyden), in the present, the perpetuation of a celebrity class of Indigenous people is as much driven by the desires of Indigenous peoples ourselves who wish to see ourselves succeed in fields generally associated with celebrity – film, music, art, literature, and sport, though extends to other fields such as politics and academia. This is to say that in recent decades Indigenous people’s relationship to the celebrity has undergone substantial shifts.

The multidisciplinary contributions to this volume thus explore the inherent complexity of Indigenous people’s relationships to celebrity on a global scale. These works examine the relationship of Indigenous people to the concept of celebrity in past, present, and ongoing contexts, identifying commonalities, tensions, and possibilities with respect to Indigeneity and celebrity. Articles might attend to questions such as:

• What is the historical context for Indigenous relations to
celebrity?
• Are there figures/people in traditional contexts that could
be said as inhabiting an Indigenously understood
“celebrity”?
• Are there innately Indigenous conceptualizations of
celebrity?
• How do Indigenous understandings of celebrity differ
from mainstream and/or widespread conceptualizations
of celebrity?
• How has celebrity impacted Indigenous people
individually, and communities more widely?
• What is the relationship between colonialism and
celebrity?
• What is the relationship between traditional ways of
knowing and celebrity?

To submit an abstract: Please send abstracts of 300 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 1, 2017.

All submissions will receive acknowledgment and confirmation of acceptance will be sent for selected abstracts by July 15, 2017. Completed chapters of approximately 6,000-8,000 words will be due November 15, 2017.
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