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Message from the Director

Dear friends of the AISC,

Happy February! We hope the year is treating you well so far, in spite of the many challenges that seem to be arising daily. We have a number of terrific events in February, please see below. Also, please stay tuned for our announcements, coming soon, of the job talks in our search for a new AISC faculty member. We are very excited to welcome the candidates to campus and get to know them better. We hope you will be able to join us for some or all of these events.

Shannon Speed
Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center


TODAY: Visiting Scholar Lecture, Tria Blu Wakpa

Tuesday, February 7
Kaufman 200

Visiting Scholar Lecture
Tria Blu Wakpa
Ph.D. Candidate in The Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley
Fixing and Eclipsing: Native American Dance in Educational and Carceral Contexts

This talk addresses how non-Native o­fficials and Native peoples in both colonial and contemporary institutions have used dance for disparate and often conflicting purposes. It examines how from the late 1800s to the early 1970s, Native American boarding schools, institutions designed to assimilate Indigenous youth, sought to curtail students' “Indianness” - except for in dance and other forms of art, embodiment, and play. The talk then interrogates how, today, tribal and state detention centers represent Native social dances and ceremonies as a component of Native peoples' rehabilitation. What, it asks, is the role of dance in these historical policings of "Indianness" and the contemporary promotions of cultural wellbeing? And how does dance both “fix” and “eclipse” these regulatory attempts at disciplining and rehabilitating Native peoples and bodies? To examine the connections and disjunctures between these approaches and the role of dance in educational and carceral contexts, this presentation conducts close readings of a fancy shawl dance performance, boarding school newspaper articles, visual images, and interviews. In doing so, it offers two new theoretical framework – fixing and eclipsing – to explain how institutional officials and Native peoples have sought to create, contest, and protect cultural significances about and through dance.

Hosted by UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, World Arts and Cultures/Dance

Damaging Minds and Bodies: Trauma, Violence, and the Criminal Justice System

Friday, February 10, 2017
11 AM – 6 PM
Charles E. Young Research Library

Saturday, February 11, 2017
11 AM – 6 PM
Location TBA

This symposium will address the destructive impact of the US criminal justice system — including through policing, courts, jails, prisons, and immigration detention facilities — on the physical and mental health of racially and economically vulnerable communities, people with disabilities, and families. A central theme and purpose of the event involves confronting contemporary criminal justice practices as, essentially, a public health crisis. Some specific areas for dialogue and learning include the degenerative health effects of prison and detention conditions, collective trauma and terror within communities of color stemming from police violence, justice system treatment of sexually vulnerable and gender-nonconforming people, deaths of incarcerated people with mental illness, the invisibility of indigenous people in contemporary dialogue about policing and incarceration, racial profiling, detention and persecution of Muslim, Arab, and Middle Eastern people, and the relationship between healthcare and social service disparities and vulnerability to arrest and incarceration.

Hosted by Repair; co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center



Pursuing the PhD: Process of the PhD Path, Application Tips, and Choosing a Program, February 15, 2017
12:00 – 1:15 PM
Public Affairs Building, Room 4357

Pursuing the PhD?
Lunch will be served.
RSVP required at

Come and find out about doctoral programs from three UCLA professors. The panel will include Dr. David Shorter (World Arts and Cultures/Dance), Dr. Shannon Speed (Gender Studies, Anthropology), and Dr. Ananda Marin (Education).
Recommended for Undergrad and Graduate Students.

UCLA is a tobacco-free campus. All-day parking ($12) and short-term parking (payable at pay stations) are available in Lots 2, 3 and 4 (enter the campus at Hilgard and Westholme avenues). For more information, call 310-825-7315.


Institute of American Cultures 2017–2018 Research Grant Program in Ethnic Studies

The Institute of American Cultures (IAC) invites applications for support of research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os for 2017–2018. The Institute also invites proposals on interethnic relations that will increase collaboration between the Centers and/or between the Centers and other campus units.

Eligibility Requirements:
UCLA faculty, staff, graduate students, and IAC Visiting Scholars.
Funding: The Research Grant Program is on a reimbursement basis only. Funds for the purchase of permanent equipment will be provided only under exceptional circumstances. Conference travel, whether the applicant is presenting or attending, is not reimbursable.

Grant Period: July 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.

Applications are available November 15, 2016 and must be received by 11:59 p.m., March 13, 2017. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applicants will be notified in May.
Prior to submission of the application, applicants should briefly discuss their proposal with the Coordinator of the appropriate Center, or in the case of interethnic proposals, with each applicable Center. All grant recipients, where appropriate, must comply with UCLA’s Protection of Human Subjects in Research before receiving funding.

To Apply: Application is available online at:

For further information and applications, please contact the IAC coordinator of the appropriate UCLA Ethnic Studies Research Center and visit our website at

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