What are the most controversial topics in anthropology and archaeology today, and why are so many scholars afraid to discuss them? What are the consequences of expressing "forbidden perspectives" on indigenous topics in modern education, and what's at stake in these debates?
"Combatting Cancel Culture: Why Diversity of Thought Still Matters on Indigenous Topics" discusses alternative views on controversial topics in anthropology, archaeology, and Native American studies. Speakers explore issues such as land acknowledgements, residential Indian school reparations, the concept of sacred sites, and the loss of diversity in Native American narratives resulting from the decolonization movement.
Moderated by San Jose State University anthropology professor Dr. Elizabeth Weiss, co-author of Repatriation and Erasing the Past, the webinar features four speakers:
Dr. Frances Widdowson was egregiously fired from Mount Royal University’s Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies. She's the author of Separate but Unequal: How Parallelist Ideology Conceals Indigenous Dependency and the editor of Indigenizing the University: Diverse Perspectives. Dr. Widdowson has written for popular news sites, such as Quillette and The American Conservative, on topics such as the residential Indian school graves.
Mr. Stuart Reges, a computer science and engineering teaching professor at University of Washington, is currently suing his university. Mr. Reges has written for Quillette on topics as diverse as sex differences in computer coding to the problem with land acknowledgements. He talks about the trouble with land acknowledgements and why he could not just ignore them. His controversial perspectives have resulted in demotion, which he is fighting against.
Dr. Matthew Garrett, professor of history and ethnic studies at Bakersfield College, has written about Native American religions and their changes. Dr. Garrett’s award-winning book Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000 explores the Indian Student Placement Program that placed Indian children with Mormon foster families. Dr. Garrett discusses how decolonization theory, as a mechanism of colonization, hinders our understanding of diverse experiences among Native Americans.
Dr. Timothy Ives, author of Stones of Contention, has years of experience as a contract archaeologist. Dr. Ives talks about how cancel culture is a disturbingly effective bodyguard for a conspiracy theory that is undermining Indigenous history and heritage in New England. Dr. Ives delves into the Ceremonial Stone Landscape Movement that falsely portrays many stone heaps in the Northeast region's secondary forests as ancient Native American ceremonial constructions. Dr. Ives’s thorough research has shown that these stone piles are vestiges of abandoned historic settler farmsteads.