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Jeff Thomas, Urban Iroquois Photographer - Spring, 2018

Jeff Thomas, internationally renowned Urban Iroquois photographer, will visit the SIUE campus again this March to open a show of his work, titled Birdman Rising: Conversations beyond Colonialism. The show will feature photographs Thomas took during his last visit to the area, including photographs of Native American artifacts from the SIUE University Museum collections and landscapes at local Native sites such as Cahokia Mounds. The Birdman is a powerful symbol of Cahokia and also represented in the University Museum collections. As the title of the show suggests, the portrayal of these artifacts and local landscapes in Thomas’s art seeks to engage the audience in a dialogue with Native Americans in the contemporary world.

The show will be open and free to the public at the Edwardsville Art Center from March 23 through April 20. Thomas will be at the opening Friday, March 23 from 6 to 8 pm. At SIUE on Wednesday, March 21, at 6 pm, we will screen a documentary about Jeff's work - Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (1997). At 7 pm, following the film, Thomas will give a lecture titled A Necessary Fiction: An Urban Indian in the Archives. Both the film showing and lecture will take place in Peck 2304.

Thomas is a guest of Native American Studies and its contributing departments, Anthropology, Historical Studies, and Philosophy. His visit is made possible by a generous grant from the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Targeted Funding Initiative.


Katherine Dunham Exhibit, Lovejoy Library - Fall, 2017

Dr. Cory Willmott curated an exhibit on Katherine Dunham at SIUE's Lovejoy Library in fall of 2017. In this video, she hosts a talk by Dr. Eugene Redmond about his recollections of Katherine Dunham's activism in East St. Louis in the late 1960s. More on Dunham to come when the exhibit opens at the East St. Louis Center in April, 2018.

Joanne Shenandoah and Doug George Visit SIUe - Oct. 7-9, 2017

The SIUe Native Studies program partnered with SIUE’s Arts & Issues series to bring Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida Iroquois) and Doug George-Kanentiio (Mohawk Iroquois) to campus. Joanne is a Grammy award-winning singer, recording artist, and educator. Her concert at the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability (the Dome) was sold out on Saturday night. Doug is an award-winning native journalist, editor, and author. He gave a lecture at the Dome Monday night on Aboriginal Law and Justice. Doug and Joanne also led an observance of Columbus Day honoring indigenous peoples Sunday at Cahokia Mounds.

We thank Joanne and Doug for sharing their voices with us! We also thank our partners in Native American Studies - Anthropology, Historical Studies, and Philosophy - and the College of Arts and Sciences, Arts & Issues, and Cahokia Mounds for their support in making this visit possible. And thanks to Ben Lowder for taking the photo below of Joanne's concert at the Dome!

Joanne Shenandoah

Anthropology Alumna, Susie Oettle, is Runner-up in the Midwest Archaeological Conference Student Paper Competition - Oct. 8, 2016

Susie Oettle presented her paper, "Jane, His Wife: An Analysis of Spouses' Gravestones in a Rural Midwestern Cemetery," at the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Iowa City, Iowa, winning runner-up in the MAC student paper competition. This was a much abridged version of her anthropology senior project, with which Susie won the Oustanding Senior Project award in May of 2016. Susie is now working toward a master's degree in Geography at SIUE.

Archaeology Field School in the news: Jacksonville Journal Courier - June 29, 2016

"Digging up history" at

Jay Kemp, Anthropology Major and Native American Studies Minor, Wins Phi Kappa Phi Undergraduate Scholarship - April 6, 2015

Jay Kemp is the winner of the 2015 Phi Kappa Phi Undergraduate Scholarship.  This award is for outstanding juniors or seniors. Jay received a scholarship of $1500 to be applied to undergraduate or graduate tuition/fees at SIUE.

Alex Taitt

Alex Taitt, Anthropology Major, Wins NSF Grant and URCA Fellowship for her Study of Anishinaabe Language and Arts
- June 25, 2014

Alexandra Taitt combined her Anthropology and Computer Science majors to design a senior project in which she is collaborating with Native American (Anishinaabe, AKA Chippewa) language instructors and artists to develop audio/visual language instruction materials that will be deployed through GRASAC, an international research network that produces a database of Great Lakes indigenous peoples’ cultural materials called the “GKS.” Following an URCA Assistantship in the IRIS Center with Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt, and a Museum Internship in the Ethnology Museum Laboratory and the Missouri History Museum with Drs. Cory Willmott and Adriana Greci Green, Ms. Taitt won support for her novel research plan from an NSF-REU grant (attached to Dr. Hildebrandt’s NSF grant) and SIUE’s URCA Associate program.

In June 2014, Ms. Taitt’s NSF grant funded two weeks working with Mary Ann Corbiere (Anishinaabe Language Professor, University of Sudbury), Alan Corbiere (Language Coordinator, Lakeview School, M’Cheeging First Nation), Mary Pheasant (Laurentian University) and Wanda Ozawanimke (Anishinaabe beadwork artist) to record interviews in the Anishinaabe language about beadwork. Culminating Ms. Taitt’s research in Ontario, Canada, she presented a paper at the GRASAC conference based on her Museum Internship, titled, “Uses and Abuses of Audio Recorded Collaborative Research for the GKS.

During Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, Ms. Taitt will conduct her senior project in anthropology supported by her URCA Fellowship. During this phase of the project, she will analyze the Anishinaabe language interviews and design a method to produce them as language instructional materials on the GKS database.

Click here for information on, and program for, the GRASAC conference:

This Week in CAS news story available here.

Kaitlin RobertsAnthropology Alumna, Kaitlin Roberts, Wins Illinois Archaeological Survey’s Student Paper Award - October 20, 2014

Kaitlin Roberts, Anthropology graduate in 2014, won the Jeannette E. Stephens Student Paper Award 2014 for her research paper “The Gehring Site: A Ceramic Analysis.”

Here is the link to the This Week in CAS news story:

The article can also be viewed in pdf form here.

Cahokia arch dayArchaeology Day at Cahokia Mounds - August 2, 2014

SIUE Anthropology Alumna Lori Belknap, Executive Director of Cahokia Mounds Museum Society, was a field supervisor of excavations for Archaeology Day at Cahokia Mounds on August 2, 2014. She was joined in the field by SIUE Anthropology Alumni Angela Cooper, who also supervised excavations on Archaeology Day, Greg Guntren, Erin Marks Guntren, and Melody Chester.

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