Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mini-Seminar, May 6th

Please join us for an important discussion preceding our Friday symposium:

Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies Mini-Seminar
Discussion led by graduate students Maile Arvin, Michael Bevacqua, Rashné Limki, Angie Morrill and Ma Vang

Wednesday, May 6th, 3-5pm
Social Sciences Building Room 107
University of California, San Diego

This Ethnic Studies department colloquium will follow a different format from the usual speaker presentation. Kick-starting the discussion set for the "Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies" symposium on Friday, May 8th, we will use the colloquium time to pose and solicit questions regarding how and why indigeneity is a productive, though underused, analytic in Ethnic Studies.

In this proposed mini-seminar format, we ask that attendees read at least two of the articles suggested on the symposium website (see post below). For the first article, we would like everyone to read Andrea Smith's "American Studies Without America." This will be a common starting point to our discussion, as we question how we as critical race and ethnic studies scholars can study not only legacies of oppression but traces of radical transformation that may not be fully realized or understood yet. For Andrea Smith, the transformative analytic is to begin with the assumption that America should not, and will not, always exist. How does this echo and/or change the conceptual starting points that we all use as critical race and ethnic studies scholars?

For the second article, we'd like you to choose. We encourage you to look over the list and choose articles related to your own work (for example, ethnographers may find Audra Simpson's "Ethnographic Refusal" particularly provocative; cultural studies scholars may relate most to Noenoe Silva's "The Importance of Hawaiian Language Sources," etc.).

Other starting points may include:
-What other new scholarship, in the fields of Asian American, African American, and Latin@ Studies, may offer particular challenges or additions to indigenous scholarship like Simpson's, Silva's and Smith's?
-Do area-centric fields (in our case, the Ethnic Studies "food groups") offer similar or quite different critiques of the nation?
-How do certain groups (not just indigenous ones) become invisible in the studies of other 'food groups'? What can scholars do to avoid this, beyond simply "including" everyone?

This is a rare chance for many of us to build on this department's impressive breadth of knowledge in a number of fields, and to strategize about how to share knowledge across area and methodological divisions. We hope to see many of you there!

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