Native American ‘Warrior Women’ to Headline American Studies Conference, Mar. 30

Native American ‘Warrior Women’ to Headline American Studies Conference, Mar. 30

Pictured left to right: Native American civil rights activists Marcella Gilbert and Madonna Thunder Hawk

Documentary stars and civil rights activists Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcella Gilbert will discuss the power of American protest at Fairfield University’s seventh annual conference.

Protest — whether individual or collective — has been an engine that has driven the formation of American identities and U.S. democracy throughout history.

— Peter L. Bayers, PhD, professor of English and American Studies program director

Bringing together the scholarship of Fairfield University undergraduate and graduate students, the College of Arts and Sciences’ seventh annual American Studies Conference will explore the powerful history of protest in past and present U.S. history, on Saturday, March 30, 2019, from noon to 6:30 p.m. in the presentation room of the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., Center. The event is free and open to the public, and registration is available online at fairfield.edu/asconference.

This year’s conference will kick off with a series of in-depth panel discussions and student research presentations examining a wide range of significant protest movements in American culture — from civil rights and women’s suffrage, to anti-war movements and workers’ rights. Following the panel discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to view a special screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary film, Warrior Women, before participating in a Q&A with the film’s stars and event keynotes, Native American civil rights activists Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcella Gilbert.

“Madonna and Marcella are both dynamic, well-known individuals in Indian country whose story deserves a wider audience,” said Peter L. Bayers, PhD, professor of English and director of the American Studies program. “The film and our speakers are a reminder that issues of Native sovereignty are ongoing — and that one cannot tell the story of the continuing formation of the United States without always putting Native America at the heart of the national story.” 

Warrior Women details Thunder Hawk’s life as a Lakota activist and community organizer; her tireless fighting for indigenous and women's rights has spanned more than 50 years. As a leader of the American Indian Movement of the 1970s, Thunder Hawk cultivated a rag-tag gang of activist children — including her daughter Marcella — into a group called the "We Will Remember" survival group. In addition to documenting their fight at the heart of the Red Power Movement, the film also follows Madonna and Marcella's journey into present day, as key leaders during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota. Through their story, the film explores what it means to balance a movement with motherhood, and how activist legacies are passed down from generation to generation. 

"Protest — whether individual or collective — has been an engine that has driven the formation of American identities and U.S. democracy throughout history,” Dr. Bayers said. “Our current political climate has only served to catalyze protest, putting it front and center in our daily lives and making this year’s conference theme more relevant than ever." 

The sixth annual American Studies Conference is sponsored by the American Studies program, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Student Diversity, the Residential College, the Departments of English, History, Politics, Sociology and Anthropology, and the Black Studies and Peace and Justice Studies programs.

To register, visit fairfield.edu/asconference.

7th Annual American Studies Conference: Protest in American Culture

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Time: Noon - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Aloysius P. Kelley, SJ Center Presentation Room

Additional Details:

Bringing together the scholarship of Fairfield University undergraduate and gradate students, the seventh annual American Studies Conference will explore the theme of American protest politically, socially, and culturally in past and present U.S. history.

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Last modified: 03-21-19 12:00 AM

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