Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tenure For Andrea Smith

If you listened to the first podcast, Madel and I were talking about Cherokee scholar Andrea Smith and how angry we were when Critical Gender Studies refused to hire her at UCSD. She is an amazing scholar and feminist and she was just denied tenure at University of Michigan. Here is a recent email that came to me:

--Please Distribute Widely and Join Our Local Action Campaign!--

Native Feminism Without Apology!

Statement of University of Michigan Students and Faculty in Support of Andrea Smith's Tenure Case

On February 22nd, 2008, University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) issued a negative tenure recommendation for Assistant Professor Andrea Lee Smith. Jointly appointed in the Program in American Culture and the Department of Women's Studies, Dr. Smith's body of scholarship exemplifies scholarly excellence with widely circulated articles in peer-reviewed journals and numerous books in both university and independent presses including Native Americans and the Christian Right published this year by Duke University Press. Dr. Smith is one of the greatest indigenous feminist intellectuals of our time. A nominee for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Smith has an outstanding academic and community record of service that is internationally and nationally recognized. She is a dedicated professor and mentor and she is an integral member of the University of Michigan (UM) intellectual community. Her reputation and pedagogical practices draw undergraduate
and graduate students from all over campus and the nation.

Dr. Smith received the news about her tenure case while participating in the United States' hearings before the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Ironically, during those very same hearings, the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decisions that restricted affirmative action policies at UM specifically were cited as violations of international law. At the same time, there is an undeniable link between the Department of Women's Studies and LSA's current tenure recommendations and the long history of institutional restrictions against faculty of color. In 2008, students of color are coming together to protest the way UM's administration has fostered an environment wherein faculty of color are few and far between, Ethnic Studies course offerings have little financial and institutional support, and student services for students of color are decreasing each year.

To Support Professor Andrea Smith: The Provost must hear our responses! Write letters in support of Andrea Smith's tenure case. Address email letters to ALL of the following:

Teresa Sullivan, Provost and Executive VP for Academic Affairs, LSA,
Lester Monts, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, LSA,
Mary Sue Coleman, President,
Voice your ideas on the web forum at

To Support Women of Color at Michigan and the Crisis of Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies: Attend the student organized March 15th Conference at UM!!!!
Campus Lockdown: Women of Color Negotiating the Academic Industrial Complex is free and open to the public. Speakers include renowned activists and scholars
Piya Chatterjee
Angela Davis
Rosa Linda Fregoso
Ruthie Gilmore
Fred Moten
Clarissa Rojas and
Haunani-Kay Trask.

For more information and to register, visit:


Educated . United . Diverse . Supportive . Active . Powerful
The Students of Color Of Rackham

In my opinion, Andrea Smith is an exciting creative scholar who gives so much to students, not even necessarily her own. As an undergraduate I was a member of the Native American Student Union when one of our co-directors raped a member. She dropped out, he didn't and his friends joked about it in our student lounge. Some of us got together to address our safety and our expectations, also to alert the rapists home community about his actions. As a result when Andrea Smith came to our campus to give a talk she asked to have lunch with us and advised and encouraged us. She deserved better than this, and I'm glad that the students at University of Michigan are organizing to support her.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Don't Stop Believing

Hello! I finally finished my thesis, "Deconstructing Factionalism in Klamath Termination" and sent it out to my committee, I am defending it on February 14th, tentatively. I learned so much about myself working on this thesis, and I learned so much from Madel and Miget. It was hard to let it go, I wanted to keep working and making it better. But I had to stop, now it is time to work on my prospectus for my dissertation. I really do not know what it will be about, when I do I am sure I will let everyone know.

Madel and family moved back to Belau! She kept saying she needed to go home and she did leave and I miss her so much already. She is going to be working on her dissertation, "Pacific Subjectivities: 'Routes and Roots' of Indigeneity and Militarism." She is an amazing scholar and I am so excited about her work. If you would like to read her prospectus move your mouse over the title and the link will take you to the site where it is posted.

Miget keeps up with his blog, No Rest for the Awake - Minahaget Chamorro, and is working on a conference here at UCSD in March, "Postcolonial" Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World that will offer some amazing scholars and speakers. Come if you can!

For now we are not doing any podcasts and so this blog will be on hiatus until I do not know when. I want to thank you for listening and reading and encouraging us with your support.

Here is a snippet from my thesis acknowledgments, it is the custom to give thanks and respect to everyone who helped you and you know if you are reading this that Madel and Miget have been a large part of my intellectual and academic life.

"During nearly the entire writing of this thesis two people, Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Madelsar Ngiraingas were a huge part of my intellectual life. Thank you for many conversations that became the podcast Voicing Indigeneity, and for your intellectual generosity and of course for the songs. From the start Madel offered her mentorship to me and helped me figure out the hard parts of this trip through academia. Miget also offered support and a new eye when I did not know how to see things. I am grateful to both of you."

Thank you to all the folks who talked with us on the podcasts, our guests and our listeners. It has been so worthwhile.

Madel told me her favorite pictures were the ones we took with Leroy's weapons so here is one for the road.

Don't mess with this