February 7, 2017
3:00pm to 4:30pm

Kaufman 200


Tria Blu Wakpa
Ph.D. Candidate in The Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley

This talk addresses how non-Native ocials and Native peoples in both colonial and contemporary institutions have used dance for disparate and often conicting purposes. It examines how from the late 1800s to the early 1970s, Native American boarding schools, institutions designed to assimilate Indigenous youth, sought to curtail students’ “Indianness”—except for in dance and other forms of art, embodiment, and play. The talk then interrogates how, today, tribal and state detention centers represent Native social dances and ceremonies as a component of Native peoples’ rehabilitation. What, it asks, is the role of dance in these historical policings of “Indianness” and the contemporary
promotions of cultural wellbeing? And how does dance both “x” and “eclipse” these regulatory attempts at disciplining and rehabilitating Native peoples and bodies? To examine the connections and disjunctures between these approaches and the role of dance in educational and carceral contexts, this presentation conducts close readings of a fancy shawl dance performance, boarding school newspaper articles, visual images, and interviews. In doing so, it oers two new theoretical frameworks—xing and eclipsing—to explain how institutional ocials and Native peoples have sought to create, contest, and protect cultural signicances about and through dance.