A woman standing to the left of a man
Cristina Stanciu, Ph.D., and Oliver Scheiding, Ph.D., a professor of North American Literature and Early American Studies at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, co-organized the Indigenous Print Cultures, Media and Literatures symposium at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, Germany, earlier this month. (Courtesy photo)

Humanities Research Center co-leads Indigenous media symposium

The center’s director co-organized the event, an opportunity for Indigenous scholars to discuss news and publications in Native American nations as part of the center’s ongoing “On Native Ground” series.

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The director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Humanities Research Center led an international symposium in Germany earlier this month to reflect on the past, present and future directions in Native American and Indigenous Studies, focusing on print publications.

Cristina Stanciu, Ph.D., the director of VCU’s Humanities Research Center and an associate professor in the Department of English at VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences, co-organized the “Indigenous Print Cultures, Media, and Literatures” symposium, held July 5-9, at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Stanciu collaborated with counterparts at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University.

Indigenous scholars representing a variety of Native American nations (Seneca, Anashinaabe, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Dakota, Kanaka Maoli, Métis and Nez Perce) participated in discussions exploring intersections of the fields of Indigenous print cultures, media and literatures. Keynote addresses and presentations by leading scholars and writers in the field centered on topics ranging from 20th century Hawaiian language newspapers; publications of the Indian boarding schools in the U.S. and Canada; Dakhóta language newspapers; contemporary tribal newspapers and newsletters in the U.S. and New Zealand; and Indigenous mediascapes. Presentations also addressed the role of Indigenous languages in the production of Native texts and periodical publications, Indigenous intellectual traditions, archival newspapers and settler colonialism, as well as contemporary global Indigenous print and digital projects.

The Humanities Research Center at VCU, with support from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and the College of Humanities and Sciences, led the effort as part of its ongoing initiative, “On Native Ground.” VCU’s Vice President for Research and Innovation, P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D., spoke at the symposium, commending the organizers for their work, which directly addresses two of VCU’s research priority initiatives: enriching the human experience and achieving a just and equitable society.

“These two initiatives work hand-in-hand with the research and public humanities efforts led by our Humanities Research Center. We are deeply committed not only to local but also global Indigenous communities, and look forward to supporting our community of scholars who help advance two key aspects of our research mission,” Rao said. “The work of the humanities is more relevant now than ever before as we face the grand challenges of our time.”

Read more about this symposium on the College of Humanities and Sciences’ website.