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AISA Conference


19th Annual American Indian Studies Association Conference

"Unsettling American History: American Indian Studies in the time of the Trump Administration, White Supremacy, and Settler Nationalism"

February 1-2, 2018
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

The framing of the United States, by many, as a nation of tolerance which respects diversity and promotes equality on behalf of all its citizens has begun to crumble in the last two years. The 2016 U.S. presidential election heralded in rhetorical and physical attacks against marginalized communities, underscoring how violence continues to be a tool utilized by the oppressor. In 2017, the election of President Donald Trump emboldened groups such as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and nationalists, pro-White groups, and right-wing neocon conservation politicians to promote their racist ideologies. Suddenly, they found a voice and presence in the White House willing to, at best, look the other way, and at worst, support their racist ideologies. In 2017, the Slate website reported, “Since the election of President Donald Trump, news outlets and social media accounts have swelled with reports of swastikas at schools, racist taunts, and other hate-fueled attacks and acts of intimidation.” In August of 2017, “The city of Charlottesville was consumed by violence when a white nationalist rally turned deadly and claimed the lives of three people.” Trump was slow to condemn the violence, and in the end, said that both “alt-left” and the other side were at fault, although there were “good people on both sides.” Observers were quick to point out that the so-called “alt-left was in Charlottesville to protest the hate of the white nationalists, KKK, and neo-Nazis, while the white nationalists et al, were there to advance their racist ideology.”

President Trump has used his executive authority to reverse climate change policies, approve the construction of two controversial pipelines (the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline); He has signed orders to undo the Obama administration’s efforts to address global warming and climate change. His order reverses the Clean Power Plan, which had required states to regulate power plants but had been on hold while being challenged in court; Trump used an executive order to institute a travel ban largely focused on six Muslim-majority countries; He used executive orders to undo Obama-era waterway regulations; and, he issued an executive order to put an end to Obama-era regulations aimed at protecting waterways from coal mining waste.

Trump’s attack on American Indian and Alaska Native funding and sovereignty has been frightening. At the end of July 2017, Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress attempted and failed to pass a “skinny” repeal bill which would have taken away healthcare from millions and millions of Americans and would have put American Indians and Alaska Natives at serious risk of losing their health care, including 290,000 individuals who receive care through the Medicaid expansion.  

The actions of the Trump administration and the growth of White supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazis, and other pro-White groups, otherwise known as Settler Nationalists, have created a dangerous and uncertain climate for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other Indigenous Peoples. How can tribal and native communities resist and survive these times? How can American Indian and Alaska Native Studies programs find ways to address the political, environmental, and social turmoil we are now experiencing?

This conference looks to explore and initiate discussions and presentations regarding Indigenous resistance, decolonization, and healing in the time of Trump. In the midst of the chaos, how do Indigenous Peoples mobilize, organize, and protect their lands and cultural rights as well as their sovereignty? How do Indigenous Peoples express their discontent, resistance, and resilience through culture, art, history, environmental initiatives, tribal governance, and education? How can American Indian and Alaska Native Studies programs prepare the next generations of Native youth to mindfully and intelligently resistance settler nationalism? What new, radical Indigenous theory and praxis must be adopted to disrupt and change the current Trump and settler nationalist discourse?

The organizers of the AISA Conference welcome proposals for paper and panel presentations, posters, roundtables, film screenings, and workshops. Consideration will be given to other topics that relate to American Indian issues. Proposals from faculty; students at colleges, universities, and tribal colleges; community-based scholars, elders, and professionals working in the field are encouraged and welcomed.

We welcome the following topics:

  • Decolonizing Public Space: Removing Settler Colonial Historical Presence
  • “Taking Sides” in Re-Presentations of US History
  • Healing through Resistance
  • Indigenous Lives Matter: American Indians in the Age of Trump
  • Re-Imagining the Indigenous Landscape: Trump Era Environmentalism
  • Struggle to Preserve Natural/Cultural Resources
  • Culturally Appropriate and Historically Accurate Memorials
  • Changing or revisioning monuments, names of people and places, boarding schools, and universities (Amherst College) that continue to glorify of the genocide of Indigenous Peoples. 

Paper/Session/Panel Proposals:

Please send paper and panel submissions in a digital format: https://form.jotform.us/72434457849165

When submitting a paper, session or panel proposal, please provide the name of the presenter, session organizer, and/or all individuals involved, including their role/s, and institutional affiliation. Also, provide their address, phone number, email, panel abstract, individual paper abstracts and a short bio for panelist, chair and/or commenter.

Submit the presentation title/s and a 200-word paper abstract, describing the paper, session, or panel.

Please submit paper and panel proposals by December 1, 2017. Abstracts after this date will only be considered if space is available on the program.

Questions? Contact:   Michael.Yellowbird@ndsu.edu  or  AWoods@asu.edu

Thank you!