News and Events



AINSP is very pleased to host a PUBLIC HUMANITIES WORKSHOP
Digital Mapping & the Post-Removal Indigenous Midwest
March 27-28, 2015
This workshop will consider how digital mapping technologies can help to reclaim indigenous experiences in and of the Midwest. Representatives from American Indian Studies programs at several CIC institutions, as well as from tribal communities with past and present ties to the region, are attending to discuss a new collaborative project.  
Special thanks are due to AINSP faculty Jacki Rand and Stephen Warren, who both have ongoing projects in public history that have formed the foundation for this exciting new initiative. 
Friday March 27’s morning session is open to all interested faculty, students and community members.  This session features several invited speakers who will discuss Harvard University’s “WorldMap”  digital mapping technology as a tool for the public humanities, provide examples of current community-based digital mapping projects being created by and for Native North Americans, and provide an example of a current public history project underway at UI
More information is available here.


Fall 2014 EVENTS


In honor of Native Heritage Month,
AINSP is very pleased to welcome

Ida C. Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor

(University of Maine)

to the University of Iowa for a public lecture:

Wabanaki Diplomacy to Protect the Ash Tree:
Sustainability Science and Environmental Justice in Maine

6:30 PM
301 VAN (Van Allen Hall)


Darren Ranco


Wabanaki (Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Abenaki tribal nations of northeastern North America) tribal basketmaking traditions use brown ash trees as their primary source material.  This resource is threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest from China first found in North American near Detroit in 2002, which has spread to over 20 states and provinces and killed millions of ash trees.  In this talk, Dr. Darren Ranco will discuss his five-year research project to work with tribal basketmakers and other key stakeholders to prepare for the arrival of this pest in Maine.  He will discuss how his team used both sustainability science and indigenous research methods to do research that was inclusive, relevant, impactful, and culturally appropriate for the research partners.  He will emphasize the ways that Wabanaki basketmakers and indigenous researchers use indigenous forms of diplomacy to assert sovereignty and influence state and federal regulators to combat this invasive pest.





AINSP is very pleased to welcome


to the University of Iowa for a public lecture:
Creating Bilingual, Intercultural Indigenous Education in
Venezuela’s Multicultural State:
The life and work of FLOR ANGEL PALMAR
12:00-1:30 PM
219 JH (Jessup Hall)

This lecture is free and open to the public.  AINSP thanks the Department of Anthropology, Latin American Studies Program/International Programs, and College of Education’s Committee on Diversity for their generous co-sponsorship of this event. Flor Palmar

Flor Palmar is a leading figure in Venezuela’s effort to develop bilingual, multicultural education for the nation’s diverse indigenous peoples. A member of the Wayuu people, her life and professional trajectory illustrate one woman’s creative involvement in the grassroots struggle to develop bilingual indigenous education and curricula.  Her story reveals challenges, victories and sacrifices and exemplifies the involvement of indigenous leaders and educators in national policy inaugurated through the adoption of Venezuela’s new multicultural Constitution.   From 2006-07 Flor Palmar worked in the Ministry of Education as coordinator of Programs in the national Office of Bilingual Intercultural Education and served as a member of the National Commission on Curriculum within the Ministry of Education.  She is author (with Laura R. Graham), of the chapter, “Yaletüsü Saaschin Woumain (Glory to the Brave People)”: Flor Ángela Palmar’s Creative Strategies to Indigenize Education in Venezuela. In Indian Subjects: New Directions in the History of Indigenous Education, Brian Klopotek and Brenda Child, eds. Santa Fe, NM: School of Advanced Research Press, 2014.


Spring 2014 EVENTS


AINSP is very pleased to welcome


for a campus visit April 14-15, 2014

James Brooks is an award-winning ethnohistorian and interdisciplinary scholar of indigenous and colonial histories, with a special focus on the Southwest borderlands. He has held academic appointments at the University of Maryland, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley, and fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe.  His career has emphasized collaborative research and exhibition projects with Native American peoples.  While serving as president of SAR for eight years in the 1990s and 2000s, he foregrounded key public humanities projects such as the development of the Southwest Crossroads educational website.

Both events are free and open to the public.

(1)  PUBLIC LECTURE, "Vital Exchanges: Community-Centered Strategies for the Public Humanities"
DAY/TIME: Monday April 14, 4:00 PM


(2)  COLLOQUIUM and brown-bag lunch, “Women, Men, and Cycles of Evangelism in the Southwest Borderlands, A.D. 750 to 1750
 DAY/TIME: Tuesday, April 15, 12:00 PM

Faculty and graduate students are welcome to bring a lunch to this discussion with Brooks about his recent AHR Forum article, available here.  Cookies and drinks will be provided.


Fall 2013 EVENTS

October 23-24 Campus visit by award-winning poet and author Joy Harjo (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor, sponsored by The University of Iowa, The Provost's Office, The Department of English, The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Writers' Workshop, International Writing Program and the American Indian & Native Studies Program.

  • Thursday October 24, 7:00 p.m., 1505 Seamans Center: Poetry performance and book signing

October 3, 4:-5:30 in UCC 2520D: “Public Festivals and Performative Feasts: Aztecs and Allegory in Baroque Mexico.”  Presented by Dr. Rolena Adorno (Yale University).  Sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program.

Sept 26-Oct 3: Musician and activist Martha Redbone Roots Project campus visit, sponsored by Hancher Performing Arts, University of Iowa.  

Sept 27, 4:00-5:00PM, 704 Jefferson Bldg: “Global indigeneities and the politics of science: Emergent examples in public  health.” Presented by Dr. Erica Prussing (Anthropology and Community & Behavioral Health).  American Studies Floating Friday colloquium series.

August 29 through December 29: “Cultures in Clay: Puebloan Vessels at the University of Iowa.”  Exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum.  Curated by Dr. Margaret Beck (Anthropology & AINSP).



April 18, 5:30-6:30 p.m. "History, Memory, and Collaboration" by Dylan Miner (Michigan State University)                                                       

Elliott Society Lecture Series, 116 ABW (Art Building West), 141 North Riverside Dr, Iowa City

Dylan Miner (Métis) is a border-crossing artist, activist, historian, curator, and professor working throughout Turtle Island (North America). His project, Anishinaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag (Native Kids Ride Bikes), is presently touring the continent, and currently on display at the Black Box Theater, IMU (from March 2-July 28, 2013). Miner is the 2010 recipient of the Smithsonian’s Artist Leadership Fellowship (NMAI), and a member of the award-winning artist collective JustSeeds. He has had thirteen solo exhibitions across Europe and North America. He holds a PhD in art history from the University of New Mexico and is an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Miner has published extensively on contemporary art, Indigenous visual sovereignty, and radical politics. He has two forthcoming books with the University of Arizona Press and IB Tauris.

The Curator’s Circle Lecture and Spring 2013 Elliott Society Lecture Series are part of the UIMA Public Initiatives and Outreach, which is supported by Karen Hubenthal & Wallace K. Chappell, James A. & Katherine Rathe Clifton, Scott A. Dunn & Robert Moray, George E. & Beth A. Hanna, Katie A. & Christopher R. Moorhead.


April 4, 3:30 PM, Gerber Lounge, 304 EPB  “Indigenous Mexico in American Indian Literature, 1920-1960"  Talk presented by  James H. Cox (Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies, University of Texas at Austin).  Co-sponsored by AINSP and the Department of English


April 3, 4:00 PM in 31 SH: Reception and lecture by Tom Arne Midtrød (Department of History) in honor of his recently released book, The Memory of All Ancient Customs: Native American Diplomacy in the Colonial Hudson Valley (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012).



Thurs Dec. 6  Professor Pesantubbee’s American Indian Environmentalism class will be having a poster display 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., on the third floor of Gilmore Hall.  Students have prepared posters and brochures about sites of environmental conflict in Native North America, and will be available to answer questions about their projects.


Fri November 9 Hip-hop artist Frank Waln and Native American Hoop Dancing at 7:00 p.m. in Currier Residence Hall – MPR; Native Heritage Month event co-sponsored by the American Indian Student Association and the American Indian & Native Studies Program.


Fri October 26  Dr. Steven Williams will present a talk entitled Smudging the Book: The Role of Cultural Authority in Tribal Historical Narratives and Revitalization at Rocky Boy at 4:00 pm in 704 JB
Steven Williams completed a PhD in American Studies and a graduate certificate in American Indian & Native Studies in summer 2012.  He will also teach 149:085 Native American Material Culture for AINSP in spring 2013.


Fri September 28  Professor Bernard Perley (Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee) will present a talk entitled “Then, a miracle occurs:” Metaphors at the intersections of language and social relations at 4:00 pm in 140 SH

Professor Bernard Perley is a member of the Tobique First Nation and author of Defying Maliseet Language Death. Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada (University of Nebraska Press, 2011).  Here is the abstract for his talk: “Lakoff and Johnson (1980) have argued that more attention must be paid to everyday metaphors because of their constraints on our actions as well as our perceptions of possible actions. This is an extremely important insight when critically examining the rhetoric used by language experts as they disseminate information regarding the global crisis of language endangerment. At first glance, it seems that biological metaphors would be naturally suited to talk about the life and death of languages. However, upon closer examination, the biological metaphor privileges ‘language’ as the object of expert focus rather than the speakers who use language in their everyday interactions. I argue the metaphors ‘languages live by’ (borrowing and adapting the Lakoff and Johnson book title) must highlight the intersections of language and social relations. Recent research on metaphors, neuroscience and cognition, biological anthropology, and my own work in ‘emergent vitalities’ identify those intersections as the point where the ‘miracle’ of communication, meaning, and language life occurs.”


Tues October 2  Filmmaker Cathleen O’Connell will present a screening of her new documentary film, “Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum” at 7:00 pm in 109 EPB

Cathleen O’Connell has served as an associate producer for WGBH/American Experience, and worked on the 2009 We Shall Remain: America through Native Eyes series. Her new film explores marching bands in Native North America, focusing especially on the Fort Mohave reservation. She was inspired to make this film, in part, after reading Philip Deloria's Indians in Unexpected Places. For more information, see:


Wed August 29  Professor Matthew Fletcher (College of Law, Michigan State University) speaks on “Tribal Membership and Indian Nationhood” at 3:30 pm in BLB Room 235

Professor Matthew Fletcher is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.  He is a prolific author in tribal law and federal Indian law and policy, and Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at MSU.  For more information see his blog, Turtle Talk (, his online biography ( ), and a “Room for Debate” item in the NY Times from last fall:


AINSP spring 2012 event

Many thanks to all who attended! A resource list of readings from speakers' presentations can be found HERE

RETHINKING CULTURAL COMPETENCY: Insights from Native American Studies

DATE/TIME: Wednesday April 25, 9:30AM-2:30PM



For further information, please contact Erica Prussing, Academic Coordinator for AINSP (