Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Robins presents at Native American Art Studies conference

Barbara Robins, NAS faculty member and associate professor of English, presented at the NAASA (Native American Art Studies) 16th Biennial Conference held in Norman, OK October 21 - 24, 2009. Her talk was titled "Healing a Nation: Native American Artists Respond to 9/11." Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Jewell James (Lummi Nation) created a series of totem poles to help all Americans heal from those losses. This paper presents a survey of post-9/11 art while focusing on the concern for healing trauma. Representing a dozen tribes/cultures, these artists are participating in a 21st century outreach with concerns for encouraging cultural diversity within a national identity. The presentation examined a wide range of artistic works within a context of current theorizing on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Historic Trauma Response (HTR), and Intergenerational Trauma for the potential to prohibit or promote healing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

NASAA members address IS&T Microenterprise class

Cindy Krafka and Mari Medura were guest speakers in Dr. Sadja Qureshi’s Advanced Research in Information Systems class, a microenterprise development class for doctoral students in the information systems and/or information technology area. Two of Dr. Qureshi’s students, Bo Guo, a doctoral student from Shanxi, China, and Jae Gilbert, a communication graduate student, are researching Indian Country and how IT can contribute to legitimization of UNO’s Native American Studies Alumni Association (NASAA) through the lens of social capital theory. A new and improved website, for example, can assist with fundraising, recruiting and keeping alumni in touch. Cindy and Mari along with other NASAA members have been working at the grassroots level to help fund the Pendleton Indian blankets used in the honoring ceremonies for all students—Native and non-Native—who minor in Native American Studies so that come graduation day each can display their ceremonial objects as they receive their diploma. In the past, NAS faculty purchased the blankets themselves but there are many more students now.
Cindy answered questions from students about Indian Country and told insightful personal stories about her own journey as an urban Indian in Lincoln who spent every summer on the Rez with her grandmother. She believes that sharing parts of her life and those of her ancestors help overcome prejudice.
Jae, who is working with NASAA as part of the microenterprise class and independent study, said that her study thus far of Native American issues has opened her eyes. “What amazes me is that I don’t ever recall studying genocide, treaties, acts, assimilation, urban relocation or issues with sovereignty in Indian Country in high school. Thus, as a nontraditional, middle-aged student at the tail end of graduate school, I am finally learning what I wish I had learned many years ago. Cindy said that ‘once introduced to Indian Country, you’re never the same.’ In that, she is absolutely right. I am so looking forward to the Pow Wow in April.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

Campus workshop on Refworks

NAS faculty members Lyn Holley and Teresa Lamsam attended a RefWorks training session conducted by our own Linda Parker on February 18 in the UNO Library. RefWorks is the electronic equivalent of a research assistant, made freely available to UNO students and faculty. This system is relatively user friendly and very powerful. It imports, labels, sorts and files any electronically accessible resource in each user's own personal library/data base. Once the resource is "filed", RefWorks will assemble bibliographies and will format the bibliography and document automatically according to specified requirements - that is, a document with citations prepared for a journal that requires APA 5 format can be reformatted automatically to meet the format requirements of a different publication. The library/data base can be searched electronically, and references can be pulled up and used for many applications. UNO users can download RefWorks can be downloaded from the Library Home Page, and speed up their research. Call Linda Parker for more information (554-3207). Upcoming workshops: Friday, February 26, 1-3 pm (library lab 107) and Saturday, March 6, 10 am-12 pm (library lab 107).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Desmarais's Book Recognized

The International Society for Science & Religion has selected Michele Desmarais ' book, Changing Minds: Mind, Consciousness and Identity in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra and Cognitive Neuroscience (2008 Motilal Banarsidass), to be part of a foundational library of central texts in the field. The library will consist of more than 250 books chosen by scholars of the society, spanning all-important areas and disciplines, as well as key international and intercultural voices. Colleges and universities can apply for a copy of the entire library. The project was made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. Desmarais is an associate professor of Religious Studies in UNO's College of Arts and Sciences, a faculty member of Native American Studies, and editor of the Journal of Religion and Film.