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Rollin, rollin, rollin

October 5, 2009

100_1596I know that’s a line from the theme song of Rawhide, a TV show from the dark ages starring Clint Eastwood, but it’s been my motto since returning to the University of Illinois at the end of August. And rollin is what American Indian Studies (AIS) is doing.  So much so that I hardly know where to begin. [And it’s my excuse for not posting the last few weeks.]

AIS just held our first Indigenous Sexualities Symposium on September 26, 2009. Participants began arriving from as far away as Aoteoroa, New Zealand, Toronto, Canada, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Michigan, and California to talk about indigenous sex. [No, I’m not kidding, and don’t you wish you had come, I mean attended the symposium.]

Un-hum. All weak puns aside, the academic papers and respondents were amazing. Janice Gould, Daniel Heath Justice, Leilani Basham, Noenoe Silva, David Delgado Shorter, Kehaulani Kauanui, David Cornsilk, Brendan Hokowhitu, Sharon Holland, Siobhan Somerville, and Jessica Yee were stellar participants in our first symposium. American Indian Studies regulars Robert Warrior, Jodi Byrd, John Low, and Keith Camacho, John McKinn (and me) worked the symposium in our various capacities as presenters, hosts, and chief cooks and bottle washers. I counted over 60 people in the audience. Pictured above are David Cornsilk, (Cherokee) and Daniel Justice (Cherokee), in the background are Jodi Byrd, (Chickasaw) Sharon Holland, and Keith Camacho (Chamorro).

100_1592 More pixs from the dinner at my house. Left to right: Lisa Tatonelli, Janice Gould, Joy Harjo, Kehaulani Kauanui [rolling out the zoom], and Leilani Basham.

Muskogee Creek poet and musician Joy Harjo and guitarist Larry Mitchell kicked off the symposium with a concert at the Illinois Union on Friday night, September 25. Joy is our artist- in-residence this fall at AIS.  She’s given craft talks, visited classes at Illinois, attended readings, and given a great performance with Mitchell.

Drum roll please: On October 3, we got the fantabulist news that Joy Harjo won a Nammy Award for Best Female Artist. Everyone please give a shout-out to Joy Harjo and buy her new CD, Winding Through the Milky Way. Available at

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2010 2:49 pm

    i just saw that you had a blog and read this! great great great, LeAnne!!

  2. LeAnne Howe permalink
    March 28, 2010 3:17 pm

    tks David. You are so kind. It was great fun hosting everyone at the Sexualities conference in IL. Hope to see you again at NAISA!

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