CCNY/CATC Ethnographic Filmmaking Course in Oklahoma – Deadline: 4/30/13!

Yesterday, I attended a full screening of the documentary Spirit Road, the first of an eight-part series called “Becoming Indian in Oklahoma. ” The series will delve into the history and contemporary lives of peoples from the 39 different American Indian nations in Oklahoma. The screening and the accompanying panel discussion was one of the public’s first encounters with a project that has been years in the making, and which took concrete steps forward with the  interdisciplinary collaboration started by City College of New York (CCNY) Prof. Campbell Dalglish of the Media and Communication Arts Program and Prof. Lotti Silber of the Anthropology Department. Last summer, Prof. Dalglish, Prof. Silber, and Mr. Robert Vetter traveled to Oklahoma to begin filmmaking and research and build more formal ties with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College (CATC) in Oklahoma. This summer, CATC students will work in collaboration with CCNY and other students who register for an Ethnographic Filmmaking course to take place June 3-28. There are four tracks, for 3-6 credits or no credits, and involve combinations of study both here in NYC and in Oklahoma. For more details, please contact Prof. Dalglish at and post and/or share widely to spread the word!

In the last two weeks, the City University of New York (CUNY), has hosted several conversations related to indigeneity and filmmaking. In attendance and dialog at yesterday’s screening were honored guest CATC President Henrietta Mann; CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico; Humanities Dean Eric D. Weitz; Anthropology Department Chair Prof. Diana Wall; Mr. John Haworth, Director of the NMAI Gustav Heye Center; Prof. Silber; Prof. Dalglish; and Mr. John Vetter, who has collaborated with Prof. Dalglish for some time and whose close relationship and work in Indian Country has opened many doors for the “Being Indian in Oklahoma” and other projects. Last Friday, April 19th, the City College of New York (CCNY) Center for Worker Education hosted “Indigeneity in the Americas: A Transnational Roundtable and Workshop” right across from the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Gustav Heye Center to begin a formal discussion on creating an Indigenous Studies program at CUNY. Panelists included Prof. Circe Sturm, author of Becoming Indian: The Struggle over cherokee Identity in the Twenty First Century (2011, SAR Press);  Mr. John Haworth; Prof. Marcia Esparza, author of the upcoming Silenced Communities in the Aftermath of War and Genocide in Guatemala; Prof. Erica Wortham, author of the forthcoming book, Indigenous Media in Mexico: Culture, Community and the State; Prof. Campbell Dalglish; and moderated by Prof. Silber. I missed the Monday, April 22nd Decolonizing Methodologies event, but suffice it to say that between all these events; the programming at the NMAI Gustav Heye Center; and the bigger focus on Andean Studies (not to mention “Quechua Nights”) at NYU, it’s been a good month for people interested in indigeneity in the NYC area.

I want to make sure that anyone out there reading meets the April 30th deadline for the Ethnographic Filmmaking class, so I won’t elaborate on the discussions at these events (although I hope to in future). Please share the call for registration. Remember, registration for credit is not required.


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