CFP: Indigenous Borderlands in North America

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Call for Papers: Indigenous Borderlands in North America 

Nov. 3-4, 2022 - University of New Mexico 

Scholars of borderlands have made important contributions to our understanding of contingent  identities and encounters, the historical roles of local actors, and the ambiguous nature of power  in North America. In recent years, scholarship on Indigenous sovereignty, kinship, and  relationality has fostered new conversations about Native territoriality, place-making, and ways of  belonging. Indigenous ideas of place and community are reframing how we understand histories  of border spaces, boundaries, crossings, and border towns in North America. Together, scholars  and Indigenous communities are making important interventions from the intersections of  Indigenous histories, epistemologies, and politics in historical and contemporary borderlands in  North America. 

This symposium invites paper submissions to develop new borderland and border-crossing  approaches that center Indigenous peoples, homelands, political concerns, and related dynamics-- temporally and spatially expanding borderlands frameworks. We particularly encourage papers that approach borderlands around a broad array of themes including (but not limited to):

  • Migrants and mobilities, including Indigenous peoples as migrants, exiles, and refugees  engaged in expansion, relocation, and diasporas. 
  • Kinship and intimacy, including issues related to gender, identity, families, and other than-human relatives.
  • Shared and contested spaces, including networks and entangled spaces, protected spaces  of nature (parks, national forests, marine sanctuaries), and environmental concerns  (toxicity, petrochemical development, climate change). 
  • Sovereignty and self-determination, including spaces of plural or nested sovereignties,  political and spatial boundaries, jurisdictional issues, and political organizing. • Violence, unfreedom, and resistance, including border town violence, slavery, and the  carceral state. 
  • Frameworks and language that move beyond the settler-Indigenous binary to include  Black, Asian, Asian American, Latinx, Pacific Islander peoples, and various other  communities in the borderlands. 

We are particularly eager for proposals from tribal nations and Indigenous organizations or  scholars working with Indigenous communities. We are also open to non-traditional proposals and  formats that encourage us to think critically about Indigenous borderlands. 

We plan for this conference to be the first iteration of a set of symposia around the topic of  Indigenous borderlands. These will include workshop experiences for the presenters and will result  in an edited volume or special issue of a journal. Additional outcomes tied to the needs of  Indigenous communities and Native nations will also be pursued. 

Paper abstracts of around 350 words and a two-page CV or resume (one per participant) should be  submitted by November 10, 2021, to Abstracts will be reviewed and all  participants notified by November 30, 2021. Accepted papers of 7,000-10,000 words should be  submitted in early October 2022, and will be distributed in advance to symposium participants. 

They will be presented and workshopped at a scholarly colloquium at the University of New  Mexico on November 3-4, 2022. Limited travel and accommodation support will be available. 

Symposium Coordinating Committee 

  • Rani-Henrik Andersson, Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki • Boyd Cothran, History Department, York University 
  • Elizabeth Ellis (Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma), History Department, New York  University 
  • Nakia D. Parker, History Department, Michigan State University 
  • Joshua L. Reid (Snohomish Tribe of Indians), History and American Indians Studies  Departments, Director of the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, University of  Washington 
  • Samuel Truett, History Department, Director of the Center for the Southwest, University  of New Mexico