Lecture by Kelly Wisecup

Thursday, March 2nd, 4pm-5:30pm with reception to follow, 5733 S University Ave, 1st Floor

This talk considers the relations among Indigenous literatures, colonial archives, and scholarly reading practices. Colonial archives founded and expanded in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sought to secure certain frameworks for describing, interpreting, and reprinting Indigenous literatures, and the traces of those frameworks are evident in contemporary literary historical scholarship on Indigenous writing.  It would be misleading, however, to assume that these frameworks were not contested by Indigenous writers and readers, and so this talk also follows a literary and archival story of Indigenous writing about and interactions with those archives.  I end by thinking through how these “early” stories might be brought to bear on scholarly practices in the present, by speaking to some of my community-engaged work as a non-Native scholar working with Native organizations and archives in Chicago

Kelly Wisecup is a professor of English at Northwestern, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and interim director of the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.  She is a literary and cultural historian whose work brings together early American studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and histories of books and archives. Across several books and digital projects, her research seeks to understand the many avenues through which Indigenous peoples—published authors and otherwise—created, interacted with, used, and read books, manuscripts, newspapers, and other texts.  She is the author, most recently, of Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Indigenous Literatures (Yale 2021).