Bard College Hosts Second Annual Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck Conference on Indigenous Research Methods and Practice in the Liberal Arts, October 12–14
“Refusal, Creation, and Intersectionality” Features Keynote Speakers Audra Simpson, Robert Keith Collins, and Corrie RoeANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College will host the second annual conference of Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck from October 12 through 14. The conference, “Indigenous Research Methods and Practice in the Liberal Arts: Refusal, Creation, and Intersectionality,” explores the topic of “research” within the humanities. Building on last year’s conference surrounding methods, viewpoints, and experiences of archives within Native American and Indigenous Studies and African American Studies, this conference explores historically marginalized epistemologies of social sciences and arts research. This is the second of three annual conferences supported by Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck, part of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for All Times initiative.
As a key mode of academic knowledge creation, in various ways, these lectures, conversations, performances, and workshops aim to unpack the historic and contemporary legacy of harm that social science research perpetuates on Indigenous communities. A special focus will be given to practices of research refusal with the work of Audra Simpson (Kahnawà:ke Mohawk) and to research-as-creation—particularly through musical performance, workshops in researching plants and seeds in archives, and the re-creation and amplification of narrative through Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Cross-disciplinary collaborations will encourage thoughtful conversations about why and how individual and institutional research practices need to shift.
On Thursday, October 12 at 1:30 pm in Bard Campus Center’s Weis Cinema, the conference will open with a workshop with the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans Monique Tyndall (Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican). As Bard College is an institution that produces research and writing on the unceded traditional homelands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, this imperative preliminary workshop will provide foundational frameworks for the next three days of learning.
On Friday, October 13 at 9:30 am in Reem-Kayden Center’s Bito Auditorium, Local Contexts, a global initiative that supports Indigenous communities with tools that can reassert cultural authority in heritage collections and data, will share how the Local Contexts Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels and Notices are being used alongside other interventions to lead to Indigenous attribution, authorship, access, authority, and autonomy. Following this keynote address, concurrent morning workshops include a conversation on the creation of an institutional research guidebook by Rethinking Place Post-Baccalaureate Fellows, Wikipedia edit-a-thons, and a tour of a current exhibition at the Hessel Museum of Art (CCS Bard) “Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination Since 1969”. After lunch, another round in the early afternoon includes Three Sisters and The Fourth: Natural Dye and Plant Research in the Archives co-led by Lucille Grignon of Ancient Roots Homestead and Beka Goedde of Bard Studio Arts, Land Narratives & Solidarity in the Archives led by Frances Cathryn and Zariah Calliste of Forge Project, and a roundtable on research in the arts with Jonathon Adams, Rebecca Hass, and Luis Chavez.
Friday afternoon’s keynote address at 3:45 pm in Reem-Kayden Center’s Bito Auditorium, “Intersectionality and Ethnography” will be given by Robert Keith Collins, a four-field trained anthropologist and Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University.
On Saturday, October 14 at 10:30am in Reem-Kayden Center’s Bito Auditorium, recipients of Rethinking Place student research funding will present their work prior to a performance by nêhiyaw michif (Cree-Métis) baritone Jonathon Adams, whose work of recovering and developing a Cree and Metis repertoire, in language and traditional song, is to them “an act of resurgence.” The performance will take place in Olin Auditorium at 2:00pm.
On Saturday, October 14 at 5:30pm in Olin Auditorium, the closing keynote address of the conference and the inaugural Quinney-Morrison Lecture of Rethinking Place, will be delivered by Audra Simpson, a political anthropologist currently based at Columbia University and author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. Her talk, “Savage States: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow,” asks “not only in what world we imagine time to stop, but takes up the ways in which those that survived the time stoppage stand in critical relationship to dispossession and settler governance apprehend, analyze and act upon this project of affective governance.”
This conference is free, open to all, and provides food. Find the full conference schedule and more information here. Register here. Please note that the Saturday performance may require separate registration.
About Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck
Bard’s “Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck” project affirms Bard’s tangible commitments to the principles and ideals of the College’s 2020 land acknowledgment and is supported by the Mellon Foundation’s 2022 Humanities for All Times. The Mellon grant offers three years of support for developing a land acknowledgment–based curriculum, public-facing Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) programming, and efforts to support the work of emerging NAIS scholars and tribally enrolled artists at Bard. Rethinking Place emphasizes broad community-based knowledge, collaboration, and collectives of inquiry and also attends to the importance of considering the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, upon whose homelands Bard sits. For more information, please visit rethinkingplace.bard.edu.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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