Northwestern Events Calendar


Weber Lecture Fall 2021 | Professor Sheryl Lightfoot, "Indigenous Disruptions"

When: Thursday, November 4, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM CT

Where: McCormick Foundation Center, McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Stephen Monteiro   (847) 491-7451

Group: Department of Political Science

Co-Sponsor: Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR)

Category: Academic, Social, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


Please join the Department of Political Science and the Center for Native American and Indigenous research at Northwestern University, as we host Professor Sheryl Lightfoot, for the Fall 2021 Admiral Alban 'Stormy' Weber Lecture.

Indigenous Disruptions: How Indigenous Self-Determination Practices Can Deepen and Expand International Theory

International relations theory is grounded in a set of Eurocentric fundamental assumptions about who and what can be considered “international” in ways that overlook, silence and erase Indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples are typically presumed to be matters of exclusively domestic concern, a pattern referred to here as domestication, which also translates into considering them only to be objects of international actors, called objectification, and most especially, overlooking them as non-states, in a clear pattern of state-centrism. Each of these silences and absences reveals various forms of ‘subliminal cultural racism’ in orthodox IR theory which help contribute to its thin conception because it is overlooking significant - and theory-worthy - international behavior by Indigenous peoples. Upon closer examination, however, Indigenous practices of self-determination are not merely additive case studies, but potentially transformative pathways for international theory, revealing phenomena unaccounted for in existing Western-centric theory. Indigenous self-determination practices bring key elements of diversity, agency and pluriversality to a thicker conception of the international. 

Speaker Biography

Sheryl Lightfoot is Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics and Associate Professor with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Department of Political Science, and First Nations and Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia. As one of the world’s experts in global Indigenous politics, Dr. Lightfoot’s research specializes in complex questions of Indigenous peoples’ rights and how those rights are being claimed and negotiated in various political spaces. Her work explores both practical and theoretical aspects of implementation of Indigenous rights globally as well as in comparative domestic and regional contexts.

Dr. Lightfoot is the North American representative to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is mandated to support global implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She also currently serves as Senior Advisor to the UBC President on Indigenous Affairs where she leads the university’s Indigenous Strategic Plan. Dr. Lightfoot is Anishinaabe from the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe, enrolled at the Keweenaw Bay Community in northern Michigan.


The Department of Political Science hosts an annual speaker series in honor of the late Admiral Alban ‘Stormy’ Weber. The gift by Admiral Weber brings to campus a speaker of note from public service and academia, to address comparative government and the United States’ role in the world. The evening is a notable event on the Department’s calendar of extracurricular activities, and draws a large audience of students (both undergraduate and graduate) faculty, staff, and the general public. The speakers are consistently people of great accomplishment, experience, and passion, and they come to campus with the objective of passing on their insight to students and others in Political Science.

Social Distancing Protocols

To maintain social distancing protocols, we will set a cap on attendance. Please RSVP as soon as possible at the following link. 

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