Northwestern University

Fri 12:00 PM

The Materialization of Native American Religions: Cultural Science in an Era of Assimilation

recurring see all events in this series

When: Friday, May 18, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Iszy Licht   847.467.2770

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


This presentation by Sarah Dees, Luce Postdoctoral Fellow and visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, addresses American anthropologists’ research on Indigenous religions from 1870 to 1905, during the assimilation era in federal Indian policy. It focuses on the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE), a Smithsonian Institution office that produced a number of reports on Native communities throughout the United States. The BAE played a significant role in expanding the definition of “religion” to include Native traditions; at the same time, BAE scholars promoted racialized hierarchies and advocated for assimilation policies that targeted the traditions they studied.

Sarah Dees is a scholar of American and Indigenous religious history and culture. She received her PhD from Indiana University in 2015. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled, The Materialization of Native American Religions: Cultural Science in an Era of Assimilation. Dr. Dees is a part of the Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad project.

The Buffett Institute Faculty & Fellows Colloquium brings together an interdisciplinary audience to build awareness of global research on campus. This series promotes dialogue on scholarship and develops a deeper sense of community among Buffett Institute affiliates. Each meeting lasts one hour; lunch is provided. Due to space constraints, we will not admit attendees once the space reaches capacity.

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