College of Humanities Newsletter

fall 2011


Volume 6, Issue 1

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Inside This Issue

The College of Humanities Newsletter

Message from Humanities Dean Elizabeth A. Say

This issue will celebrate some of the changes in the College of Humanities. We will introduce you to the new chairs from the departments of English and Philosophy. You will also meet the newest members of the College of Humanities faculty, who each enrich our commitment to “explore and value the diversities of cultures, thought, perspectives, literatures, and languages of humanity.” This same commitment will be celebrated in two upcoming events described in the newsletter: the annual CSUN Powwow in November and the Queer People of Color Conference (QPOCC) that will be held in March 2012. The Women’s Research and Resource Center is entering a new era with the introduction of a full-time director; we expect to see the WRRC flourish under her leadership. And finally, in this edition, we celebrate the life and mourn the passing of one of our colleagues from the Chicana/o Studies department.

I hope you will find time to attend some of our events, meet some of our staff and colleagues, and enjoy some of the new campus opportunities during this academic year.

Dean Elizabeth A. Say
Elizabeth A. Say, Ph.D. Alum 1981

Campus Powwow

Powwows are about much more than delicious fry bread, and since 1976 CSUN community members have gathered in the fall to observe and participate in the Native American cultural traditions that modern powwows honor. On November 26, the American Indian Studies program and the American Indian Students Association will present the 28th CSUN Powwow on the lawn by the Chicano House.

The date is deliberate, as it marks the end of Indigenous Awareness Month. Since 2001 the AIS program and AISA have observed Indigenous Awareness Month in November, during which organizers screen films, host speakers, and stage other events to educate the campus community about Native American heritage and struggles to survive eradication, both in the past and in the present. The annual powwow is the culminating event in this series.

Native American dance at Powwow, dressed in bright,featherd costume

Photo courtesy of Christianna Triolo

Powwows welcome Natives and non-Natives alike to meet, socialize, and experience the power of cultural and spiritual traditions. Many traditional dances and songs have ritual meaning and are performed with a high level of precision by featured guests, but spectators who have never attended a powwow won’t be left guessing: The master of ceremonies will clarify the meaning of events in the itinerary as they happen, inviting audience participation wherever appropriate.

The AISA, first chartered in 1974, and the AIS program, founded in 1997 with an academic minor, will announce further details about the lineup and itinerary as the date draws near. Admission is free, so come on out for some fry bread, but stay for an unforgettable cultural experience.

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