Indigenous Cultural Studies


Kevin McKenzie's "Holy Ghost"

Kevin McKenzie, "Holy Ghost", Cast polyurethane, acrylic, neon 32"x 32"x 14", 2015 (reproduced with permission of the artist)

“Indigenous Cultural Studies” is a research project led by Dr. Bruno Cornellier, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies in the Department of English. Dr. Cornellier’s particular role as coordinator for this project is to foster a critical and intellectual space for Indigenous scholars, artists, activists, and graduate students from across Turtle Island (and beyond) to get together and ask questions about the relevance of a critical and political field imagined as “Indigenous Cultural Studies” in the 21st Century.

We seek to foster critical interventions that are more explicitly indebted to Indigenous decolonial methodologies and practices for the analysis of digital, mass-mediated, and/or so-called “popular” modalities of cultural expression. In doing so, we seek to reframe “the cultural” as a site of creative and political interventions in the spirit of cultural studies, while we move beyond the Anglo-American critical framework from which the intellectual and political project of cultural studies historically emerged.

Noting that the types of activist scholarship associated with cultural studies unpack themselves in peculiar ways when European ships (and scholarship) are docking unto Turtle Island, this project imagines both the productive and conflicting ways in which cultural studies, decolonial theory, and trans-Indigenous epistemologies meet.

The core objective is to use the CSRG and CRiCS as both intellectual resources and physical spaces to host a series of events and conversations featuring Indigenous artistic and/or scholarly interventions into culture, media, technology, and “the popular” as sites where power is negotiated and hegemony secured, contested, unsettled.