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 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 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

Para más información sobre el Center for the Southwest de la UNM visita:

Imagen obtenida del paper de John P. Schmal, «Dual identity: the indigenous peoples who occupy the US-Mexico borderlands»

Sobre el autor

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