Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Seth Schermerhorn and Lecturer in Religious Studies Meredith Moss presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), which took place in Boston in November.
Schermerhorn served as the presider, and Moss as the respondent, for a panel on Native American Rhetoric. Composed almost entirely of Native American scholars at all stages of their careers, the panel was
organized by Lawrence W. Gross of the University of Redlands.
The purpose of the panel was “to move the discussion of Native American rhetoric beyond what might be termed ‘resistance studies’ [and] think about what it means for Native Americans to talk to each other.”
The panel considered such questions as “What do Native Americans sound like when they are not talking to non-Native colonialists, but instead address their own people? What are the conventions that they use? How are those conventions informed by their cultures, religions, and worldviews?” The goal was “to bring to light the manner in which the culture, religions, and worldviews of Native Americans provide Native American rhetoric with its own unique practices and powers, distinct from, but in every way just as legitimate as, any form of Western rhetorical practice.”
The panel was part of a larger project that aims to produce an edited volume on Native American rhetoric, already under advance contract with the University of New Mexico Press. Both Schermerhorn and Moss will contribute chapters to that volume.