‘Indigenous/Settler’ conference examines historical and contemporary issues across geographies

Monday, Apr 15, 2019
by Sarah Malone

Indigenous/Settler,” a conference held April 4-6 at Princeton, brought together Indigenous scholars and activists with Princeton students and faculty to examine methods for thinking across geographies and building alliances.

The 19 guest speakers work in anthropology, creative writing, film, law, political science, education administration, philosophy and sustainability — an “academic rock star” lineup, said Candis Callison, a visiting research scholar in the Humanities Council and the Pathy Distinguished Visitor in Canadian Studies. “These scholars are and have been making major contributions to thinking about settler colonialism globally.”

Settler colonialism, Callison said, is a term describing dispossession of land and waters and disappearance of Indigenous peoples.

Princeton Ph.D. candidates Jonathan Aguirre, Isabel Lockhart and Paulina Pineda Severiano — members of the Princeton American Indian and Indigenous Studies Working Group, founded by graduate students in 2011 — and Lindsay Ofrias, and University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. candidate Martín Premoli organized the conference. The 125 registrants hailed from institutions including the University of Oregon, the University of California-Irvine, The New School, Bard College, Rutgers University and Columbia University. Lockhart said the organizers envisioned “an opportunity to consider approaches to global Indigenous and settler colonial studies, while remaining grounded in local conditions and specific Indigenous knowledges.”