Dr. Bruce MacLaren Chautauqua Lecture Series: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Published on November 08, 2021

The Dr. Bruce MacLaren Chautauqua Lecture Series resumes on November 18 at 7:30 p.m. when Dr. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson brings the Native American Heritage Keynote Address, “Wayfinding with Beavers: Generating Theory Together.” 

Simpson’s address will be streamed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ONbP-zUKYRg

Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song, bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light and sovereign creativity. Working for two decades as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, she has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and the United States and has 20 years experience with Indigenous land-based education. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, and teaches at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh.

Simpson is the author of seven books, including her new novel Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies (U.S. release from UMP February 2021), which was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail. This Accident of Being Lost  won the MacEwan University Book of the Year, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award, was long listed for CBC Canada Reads, and was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail, the National Post and Quill & Quire.  As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance was awarded Best Subsequent Book by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.  A Short History of the Blockade: Giant Beavers, Diplomacy and Regeneration in Nishnaabewin was published by University of Alberta Press in February 2021, and her new project is a collaboration with Robyn Maynard, Rehearsals for Living is forthcoming from Knopf Canada in 2022. Her new critically acclaimed and Polaris Prize short-listed album, Theory of Ice was released by You’ve Changed Records in March 2021.

In this presentation, the award-winning writer uses Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg stories, storytelling aesthetics and practices to explore the generative nature of Indigenous blockades through our relative, the beaver—or in Nishnaabemowin, Amik. Moving through genres, shifting through time, amikwag stories become a lens for the life-giving possibilities of dams and the world-building possibilities of blockades, deepening our understanding of Indigenous resistance as both a negation and an affirmation.

All EKU Chautauqua events are free and open to the public. 

The Dr. Bruce MacLaren Chautauqua Lecture Series is operated by the EKU Honors Program and housed in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.