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UAS Power & Privilege Symposium

Thank you for participating in the 2017 event on the UAS Juneau campus, held on November 7th. Please save the date for next year's event: November 7th, 2018.

UAS Power and Privilege Symposium Logo

Event Survey

We'd like to hear from both attendees and non-participants, to gain information about the successes and areas for improvement of the Symposium.

We are asking you to spend 5-10 minutes filling out this survey. This is meant for assessment purposes only and will inform us about what was done well, and what we need to improve on in the future. Assessments such as these are important as they allow programs like this to continue and succeed.

Note, your answers are anonymous and the data will be presented in the aggregate. That is, your answers will be compiled with other responses and presented as group averages.

If you have any questions, please contact Tara Olson or Nathan Bodenstadt.

About the UAS Power and Privilege Symposium

The 2nd Annual UAS Power & Privilege Symposium is a one day conference-style teach-in designed to give members of the UAS & Southeast Alaska communities an opportunity to come together and engage in difficult, thoughtful, and honest conversation about the ways social hierarchies and identities manifest themselves in our communities. Discussions include those about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, religion, body size, ability, mental illness, class, and their intersectionalities.

Most UAS Juneau classes will be cancelled to allow students and faculty the opportunity to attend and/or present at the Symposium. Check your class syllabus or talk with your professors to see if your classes will be cancelled on the day of the event.

While the Symposium will be held on the UAS Juneau campus, keynote speeches and a selection of breakout sessions will be available live via distance. Details will be added when available.

Symposium Program

The Symmposium Program for 2017 is now available for download.

Schedule

Date / TimeEventLocation
8:15–8:30 a.m.Continental BreakfastSpike's Cafe
8:30–8:45 a.m.Aak’w Kwaan WelcomeEgan Library
8:45–9:00 a.m.Event WelcomeEgan Library
9:00–9:50 a.m.Opening KeynoteEgan Library
10:00–10:50 a.m.Breakout Session 12nd Floor Egan Building Classrooms
11:00–11:50 a.m.Breakout Session 22nd Floor Egan Building Classrooms
12:00–12:50 p.m.Lunch (Catered)Lakeside Grill
1:00–1:50 p.m.Afternoon KeynoteEgan Library
2:00–2:50 p.m.Breakout Session 32nd Floor Egan Building Classrooms
3:00–3:50 p.m.Breakout Session 42nd Floor Egan Building Classrooms
4:00–4:50 p.m.Breakout Session 52nd Floor Egan Building Classrooms
5:00–5:50 p.m.Dinner (Catered)Lakeside Grill
6–6:50 p.m.Evening KeynoteEgan Library

Opening Keynote

Ernestine Hayes, Yanwaashaa Kaagwaantaan: Empty Boxes

Ernestine Hayes

Abstract

Hayes has asked the questions "What Shall We Do With Our Histories?" and "What Shall We Do With Our Heroes?" and has suggested that we must all go forward together. In this keynote address, Hayes challenges current structures of power and privilege and offers insight on how we might dismantle the barriers that slow our progress.

Bio

Ernestine Hayes belongs to the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Tlingit. Current Alaska Writer Laureate, she is best known for Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir. Published in 2006, Blonde Indian received an American Book Award and an Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature (HAIL) Award, was named Native America Calling Book of the Month, and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize and PEN Nonfiction Award. Blonde Indian was the inaugural selection for Alaska Reads, a program launched by her predecessor, Writer Laureate Frank Soos. Her works have appeared in Studies in American Indian Literature, Yellow Medicine Review, Cambridge History of Western American Literature, and other forums. Her poem “The Spoken Forest” is installed at Totem Bight State Park, and her comments on Indigenous identity are installed in the Alaska State Museum. Her latest book, The Tao of Raven, weaves narratives and reflection in the context of “Raven and the Box of Daylight.”

Afternoon Keynote

Forest Haven, Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology, University of California, Irvine
Economies of Identity: Tradition, Power, and the Adjudication of Nativeness

Forest Haven

Abstract

What does it mean to be Alaskan Native? There is of course no single answer to this question. However, the identities of Indigenous people have been bound up in various economies of power since the arrival of the first settlers. Since then, those interested in acquiring Native lands have continued to benefit from the ideological construction of the “vanishing Indian.” Over time, similar rhetorical strategies come to be taken up by those with even the most well-intentioned motivations. This presentation will focus on “tradition,” and what is deemed “traditional,” as an instrument of power. This will then be juxtaposed with ethnographic examples of the way Alaskan Native people talk about tradition within the context of subsistence foods. Further, this presentation will highlight the way the “vanishing Indian” trope appears in unexpected places—such as cultural revitalization movements—in a way that effectively perpetuates the adjudication of Native identity.

Bio

Forest Haven is Ts’msyen from Metlakatla, Alaska. In 2013, she a received her B.A. in social science from UAS in Juneau, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests lie at the intersections of traditional subsistence foods, identity politics, settler colonialism, and the anthropology of the senses. Forest has been personally involved with traditional food practices since childhood and was encouraged to channel those interests into scholarly pursuits during her time at UAS. As an undergraduate, she was awarded an Alaska EPSCoR fellowship to conduct research on subsistence in rural Alaska. As a graduate student, she was awarded several major fellowships in support of her research from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the UCI Oceans Initiative and has presented at numerous conferences around the U.S. Forest recently returned to Alaska and is conducting research for her dissertation.

Evening Keynote

Dr. Barb (QasuGlana) Amarok: Pedagogy of Power and Privilege

Barb Amarok

Abstract

QasuGlana will share her experiences and thoughts on privilege and power as they relate to formal schooling in the United States, particularly in Alaska, and how the educational system continues to frame pedagogy as colonizing. She will reference scholars including hooks, Freire, Berryman, Kendall, Ongtooguk and Hammond, and voice her thoughts on how schools continue to de-form children with devastating individual and collective consequences.

Bio

Barb (QasuGlana) Amarok is an Iñupiaq Alaska Native whose family is from the Bering Strait region. QasuGlana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and a doctoral degree in Indigenous Education. She worked in the field of education for thirty-two years and has recently been elected to the Nome School Board for three, three-year terms and is serving her second year as President. QasuGlana also serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Alaska School Boards.

Breakout Sessions

See the digital program for information about all breakout sessions.

The following sessions will be offered via distance on November 7th. To view a session, click the session title.

9:00AM - 9:50 AM

Keynote: Ernestine Hayes, Yanwaashaa Kaagwaantaan
Empty Boxes

Hayes has asked the questions "What Shall We Do With Our Histories?" and "What Shall We Do With Our Heroes?" and has suggested that we must all go forward together. In this keynote address, Hayes challenges current structures of power and privilege and offers insight on how we might dismantle the barriers that slow our progress.


10:00AM - 10:50 AM

Violence's Place in Repression and Protest

Laib Allensworth, Undergraduate Student
Austin Tagaban, Undergraduate Student
Faculty Sponsor: Lora Vess, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Sciences

The purpose of this presentation is to start a community dialogue about violence both in protest and repression. We will give a brief overview of four examples where violence has occurred by protesters and agents of the state: the 1886 Haymarket Square Riot, The 1992 Los Angeles riots, The 1999 World Trade Organization protests, and a personal account given by presenter Austin Tagaban of the 2012 Mayday protests in Seattle to provide context for a discussion on the use violence in protests.


Protecting Human Rights

Haifa Sadighi, Chair of the Juneau Human Right Commission
Britta Tonnessen, Juneau Human Right Commission

The Juneau Human Rights Commission will conduct brief overview on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights followed by small group discussion on the protection and enforcement of human rights in the United Nations and governments. These discussion groups will focus on the role that governments, cultures, and institutions play growing or limiting human rights and how they can enforce these rights in communities and Nations across the world.


11:00 - 11:50 AM

Thinking About and Beyond Confederate Memorials

David Noon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History
Robin Walz, Ph.D., Professor of History

The protests that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 focused the nation’s attention on a controversy that had in fact been years in the making. Civil rights activists had long insisted that the durability of Confederate icons and testified to white Americans’ refusal to acknowledge the legacy of slavery and segregation in their nation’s history. Although such symbols are connected with assertions of white supremacy, they are also immersed in the history of white fear and a heritage of white victimhood. The appearance of Confederate monuments not only coincided with periods of anti-black aggression, but also with white fear that an entire civilization was being wrestled from them. In this discussion, we will address the legacy of Confederate memory — the myths, symbols, and physical reminders of the “Lost Cause” — as well as the contemporary struggle over that history in a political era defined by expressions of white grievance.


Budget Crisis? Students organizing for accessible education

Andrea Dewees, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Eva Collazo Montañez, Undergraduate Student
Faculty Sponsor: Andrea Dewees, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Exchange students from the University of Puerto Rico Humacao will share how Puerto Rican students organized to protest deep austerity cuts to the University System in 2017. The protest was organized throughout the island, and the discussion will enable participants to better understand how budget crises are manufactured and how to organize for accessible education.


1:00 - 1:50 PM

Keynote: Forest Haven, Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology, University of California, Irvine
Economies of Identity: Tradition, Power, and the Adjudication of Nativeness

What does it mean to be Alaskan Native? There is of course no single answer to this question. However, the identities of Indigenous people have been bound up in various economies of power since the arrival of the first settlers. Since then, those interested in acquiring Native lands have continued to benefit from the ideological construction of the “vanishing Indian.” Over time, similar rhetorical strategies come to be taken up by those with even the most well-intentioned motivations. This presentation will focus on “tradition,” and what is deemed “traditional,” as an instrument of power. This will then be juxtaposed with ethnographic examples of the way Alaskan Native people talk about tradition within the context of subsistence foods. Further, this presentation will highlight the way the “vanishing Indian” trope appears in unexpected places—such as cultural revitalization movements—in a way that effectively perpetuates the adjudication of Native identity.


2:00 - 2:50PM

Power & Pedagogy: Decolonial Interventions in Micrologies of Power

Sol Neely, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English
Forest Haven, Ph.D. candidate, University of California, Irvine
Will Geiger, M.A., Alaska Pacific University

This session will offer a brief lecture followed by discussion panel on the “micrological textures of power”—a critical perspective first articulated by Michel Foucault and Gayatri Spivak to describe processes by which the self is constituted through the subtle machinations of power/knowledge relations. The occasion for this presentation is a remark made about boarding schools in Alaska: “They beat our language out of us and replaced it with a language that hates us.” In response to this description, and drawing from decolonial inspirations of Nelson Maldonado-Torres, presenters will draw from and update the critical notion of “micrologies of power” to discern ways by which this form of power is reproduced in the university by appeal to certain modes of consciousness that perpetuate coloniality of knowledge and being. In the end, the case will be made that the university can be a decolonial place of translation—especially between the descendant of colonial perpetrators and victims—but only if we attend to the micrological textures of power that give alibi to the persistence of coloniality. This panel is especially designed for faculty and administrators.


Violence Against Women in Alaska: Understanding VAWA and working for change

Ati Nasiah, AWARE Prevention and Outreach Director
Anna Clock, UAS Undergraduate Student

Join us for an interactive discussion exploring the reality of violence against women in Alaska and how we can dismantle rape culture across our communities. In this workshop we will explore some of the implications of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for Alaska Native women and children across the state. While past re-authorizations of VAWA mark important steps forward in the struggle to increase safety for Native Women, we invite you to join with us and the local/national movements to promote sovereignty, safety and communities free of violence.


3:00 - 3:50 PM

Sayeik Aani Ka Haa Kusteeyi: A Story of History and Healing in Douglas

Dan Monteith, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology

In the 1950s Gastineau Elementary School was constructed over Native burials and grave sites. In 1962 the City of Douglas condemned, burned, and bull-dozed 20 Alaska Native homes and structures. This presentation looks at the history of institutional racism in Douglas and how we can use history to bring about a community dialogue and healing.


Food, Fish, and the Future 1: Equity, Sustainability, and Food

Lora Vess, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Sciences
Susan Kendig, M.S., Term Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Will Elliot, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English
Kevin Maier, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English
Coco Tas, Undergraduate Student

In this panel discussion, representatives from the UAS Sustainability Committee examine the sustainability of our fisheries and food security in Alaska through a lens of power and privilege. We take an interdisciplinary approach to examining the present and future of Alaska’s foods systems, noting how they will be impacted by accelerating environmental and socio-political change.


4:00 - 4:50 PM

Food, Fish, and the Future 2: Transboundary Mining

Sonia Nagorski, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geology
Glenn Wright, Associate Professor of Political Science
Breanna Walker, Undergraduate Student
Rob Sanderson, CCTHITA Vice President
Heather Hardcastle, Salmon Beyond Borders
Guy Archibald, SEACC

Representatives from the UAS Sustainability Committee and guests from local organizations will present information on the development of large scale mines on the Canadian side of the border in our large salmon-supporting rivers as well as issues associated with existing mines in our region. We will hold a discussion on the potential environmental, political, economic, and cultural effects of large international corporations on Alaskan rivers and the communities they support.


6:00 - 6:50 PM

Keynote: Dr. Barb (QasuGlana) Amarok
Pedagogy of Power and Privilege

QasuGlana will share her experiences and thoughts on privilege and power as they relate to formal schooling in the United States, particularly in Alaska, and how the educational system continues to frame pedagogy as colonizing. She will reference scholars including hooks, Freire, Berryman, Kendall, Ongtooguk and Hammond, and voice her thoughts on how schools continue to de-form children with devastating individual and collective consequences.

Planning Committee Members

UAS Faculty

  • Alberta Jones
  • Amanda Sesko
  • Kathleen DiLorenzo
  • Lisa Hoferkamp
  • Robin Walz
  • Robin Gilcrist
  • Sol Neely
  • Lance (X̱ʼunei) Twitchell

UAS Staff

  • Tara Olson
  • Nathan Bodenstadt
  • Amanda Triplett
  • Amelia Emmens-Budd
  • Christopher Washko
  • Em Rademaker
  • Eric Scott
  • Gail Cheney
  • Gail Klein
  • Gloria Merry
  • Kolene James
  • Margie Thomson
  • Monika Kunat

UAS Students

  • Lyndi Hall
  • Kyle Martini
  • Kelly Gerlach

Juneau Community

  • Ati Nasiah
  • Morgan Stonecipher

2016 Event

The program, which includes the schedule, keynote speakers, and breakout session details, is available for download.

Keynotes and Recorded Sessions

All keynotes as well as select breakout sessions are available for viewing online. A list of available videos:

  • Áakʼw Ḵwáan Welcome with Marie Olson & Liana Wallace 
  • Opening Keynote - Manic Depression in America with Andrew James Archer, MSW, LCSW
  • Session 1 - Stereotyping and its Effects in Evaluative and Performance Domains with Amanda Sesko, Ph.D; Assistant Professor of Psychology, UAS
  • Session 2 - Rape Culture: Hiding in Plain Sight with Mandy O'Neal Cole, Deputy Director, AWARE Afternoon Keynote - Dancing Soverenignty: Reclaiming the Grease Trail Through Movement and Song with Mique'l Dangeli
  • Session 3 - How Anthologies Empower Communities by Weaving Literature with Politics with Martha Amore, Professor, UAA
  • Session 4 - Examining Climate Change through a Lens of Power & Privilege with a panel of UAS faculty, staff, and student representatives
  • Session 5 - The Act of Dreaming: Undocumented Students in the United States with Christina Gómez, Professor of Liberal Arts and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Evening Keynote - Gender Transition: A Personal Change for One or a Paradigm Shift for Everyone? with Aidan Key

Sponsors

We would like to thank our generous event sponsors of the 2016 event:

  • UAS First Year Experience 
  • UAS Student Activities
  • UAS Native & Rural Student Center
  • UAS Counseling
  • SEAGLA
  • NAMI