Tria Blu Wakpa – Job Talk UCLA


Tria Blu Wakpa, has a campus interview in the Dept of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA.

She will be offering a mock job talk in preparation and we would love it if you could attend and help serve as her audience, as well as give her feedback.  We would especially like to invite any folks interested in dance studies.

Where:  Zellerbach 170
When:  Friday, Jan 271-3pm


Fixing and Eclipsing: Native American Dance in Educational and Carceral Contexts


This talk addresses how non-Native officials and Native peoples in both colonial and contemporary institutions have used dance for disparate and often conflicting 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 “fix” 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 offers two new theoretical frameworks—fixing and eclipsing—to explain how institutional officials and Native peoples have sought to create, contest, and protect cultural significances about and through dance.