Congratulations to PhD student Julio Covarrubias-Cabeza, who was part of the inaugural cohort of graduate student fellows participating in the Summer Institute on Global Indigeneities (SIGI) at the University of Washington.
Hosted on the traditional homelands and waters of the Duwamish, Suquamish, Muckleshoot, Tulalip, and other Coast Salish peoples, SIGI is a pilot program that hopes to be an annual meeting of junior and senior scholars in the interdisciplinary and global field of Indigenous and Native Studies. It is focused on the intellectual and institutional project of articulating Indigenous Studies, understood as a set of epistemological, methodological, and professional strategies for the successful completion and dissemination of creative research projects situated within and across distinctive areas of Indigenous Studies that may not always be legible to conventional academic disciplines.
This year, 12 graduate students from the Universities of British Columbia (Vancouver), California (Los Angeles), Hawai‘i (Manoa), Minnesota (Twin Cities), Oregon and Washington took part in a series of workshops and collaborative learning activities on their dissertation projects that culminated in a Research Symposium in which these were showcased. They worked with four faculty members: Hokulani Aikau (University of Hawai’i), Chadwick Allen (University of Washington), Vicente Diaz (University of Minnesota), and Jose Antonio Lucero (University of Washington).
Julio presented on the topic, “The Imperative of Decolonization: Private Duties in a World of (Colonial) Racial Oppression.” Focusing on the issue of Mexican-American/Chicano identity’s complex relationship to indigneneity, it forms part of an ongoing project he is developing on the ethics of interpersonal relationships in the wake of colonial violence.
SIGI is part of the Simpson Center for the Humanities program “Unmapping Global Studies: Oceania, Global Indigeneities and the Transformation of Area Studies.” It is the product of on-going conversations and collaborations among scholars at UW and its partner institutions. It hopes to foster an on-going network of collaborations that can support current and future scholars of Indigenous Studies and usefully disrupt conventional and colonial forms of knowledge production and graduate training.