CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 3, 2000
UI to host Graduate Research Conference on American Indian Studies April
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Last spring, faculty in the University of Iowa's American
Indian and Native Studies Program (AINSP) made a proposal to their Big 10
colleagues: Why not give their graduate students a forum for presenting and
discussing their research?
The result was the inaugural Graduate Research Conference on American Indian
Studies, which will be held primarily in the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI
campus Thursday, April 6 through Saturday, April 8. The conference will give
graduate students from the UI and other Big 10 schools a chance to discuss
their research in American Indian studies.
"We've gotten 36 papers, which is amazing given that these are typically
small communities," Jacki Rand, an assistant professor in the UI Department
of History and American Indian and Native Studies, said in reference to typical
Native American Studies programs. "And the papers cover a range of disciplines,
including English, anthropology, history, and even computer technologies that
are being used to preserve Indian languages and cultures."
What's more, the conference has garnered the attention of Indian and Native
American studies faculty and students from all the Big 10 schools, who are
vying to host future conferences. The conference will be hosted by the University
of Michigan in 2001, by the University of Illinois in 2002 and by Michigan
State in 2003.
As part of the conference, three Native American storytellers will spin
tales the evening of Thursday, April 6. The storytelling session runs from
7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., and will feature
Jerome Kills Small, Simon Ortiz, and Steve Thunder-McGuire, an art education
professor in the University of Iowa College of Education. The event is free
and open to the public.
Overlapping the conference is the UI's American Indian Arts and Crafts Festival
and Powwow, which runs April 7-9 in Carver Hawkeye Arena. Rand said conference
participants will be encouraged to attend the Powwow
The conference is sponsored by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation
American Indian Studies Consortium, an academic consortium of the Big Ten
universities and the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois
at Chicago. The storytelling session is being sponsored in part by Humanities
Iowa, the University of Iowa American Indian and Native Studies Program, the
department of English, the UI College of Liberal Arts and the University of
New Mexico Press.
For more information about the conference, visit its Web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~ainsp/cic/.