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"Back then tomorrow:” Indigenous Resistance and the Occupation of Alcatraz

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2018. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Workshop in Poetics
Meeting Description: 

Alanna Hickey (fellow, Comparative Literature) will present her paper titled “‘Back then tomorrow:’ Indigenous Resistance and the Occupation of Alcatraz.” Maria McVarish (MTL) will serve as respondent. Followed by an open discussion. Please find a short abstract below and contact melihle@stanford.edu for the paper.

In January of 1970, from their occupation of the deserted prison on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, a group of Native students and community activists calling themselves the Indians of All Tribes published the first issue of a collaborative newsletter. The issue included a proclamation of intent, proposals for an Indian school and museum, updates on negotiations with the National Council on Indian Opportunity, and original art and poetry. This paper turns to the literary writing of the Indians of All Tribes, first published in the newsletter but subseqently read alud on the program “Radio Free Alcatraz,” quoted on petitions sent across the continent, and reprinted on local flyers advertising the supply line to the protesters. As I narrate the origins and development of a community art installation born from a collaboration with the Intertribal Friendship House of Oakland (IFH), one of the oldest Indian-focused community centers in the country and an important institutional resource for the Indians of All Tribes during their occupation, I suggest that the imperative of Native studies scholars to work for and with communities in the present leads to new insights for a history of poetry in the Americas.
 

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