Events - Oak Institute


What are Indigenous Rights?

2022 Oak fellows: Ana Lucía Ixchíu Hernández and Michelle Cook
Wednesday, September 14, 7 p.m.
Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

The 2022 Oak Human Rights Fellows are Michelle Cook and Ana Lucía Ixchíu Hernández. Both will join the Colby community for the Fall 2022 semester to raise awareness on issues of Indigenous rights, and share the ways colonialism and the formation of modern nation-state borders have created mass human rights violations for Indigenous peoples. This event will be a conversation between the Oak fellows led by the Oak associate director, Tiffany Miller.

Joseph M. Pierce, Stony Brook University

Photo credit: Sebastián Freire

Naked Indians: "Not as Revolting as One Might Think"

Joseph M. Pierce, Stony Brook University
Wednesday, October 5, 7 p.m.
Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

The Indian is naked in colonial eyes. And the nakedness of the Indian is itself a project of discovery in which the body is subjected to aesthetic and epistemological scrutiny. This scrutiny is not value neutral, and participates in the gendered dynamic by which Europeans imagined Indigenous peoples as naive and deviant, but also potentially beautiful. Amerigo Vespucci would write about the Indigenous women he observed, “they are not as revolting as one might think.” This and other depictions of Indigenous bodies focus on the matter of the flesh but also how the unclothed Indian represents both an object of desire and revulsion. Drawing on early colonial depictions, nineteenth century ethnographic portraits, and contemporary photographic projects, this presentation will discuss what the naked Indian means, and how Indigenous people have repurposed the significance of nakedness over time.

Morgan Talty

Reading with Penobscot Morgan Talty

Morgan Talty, author and professor, University of Maine
Wednesday, October 19, 7 p.m.
Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

Join us as we celebrate Penobscot author Morgan Talty’s recent book of short stories, Night of the Living Rez.

Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. He received his BA in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and his MFA in fiction from Stonecoast’s low-residency program. Named one of Narrative’s “30 Below 30,” his collection of short stories, Night of the Living Rez, was recently published by Tin House Books (2022). His work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. Talty has been a Lit Event Fellow for Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance as well as a recent recipient of a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Currently, Talty is an assistant professor of English in Creative Writing and Native American and contemporary Literature at the University of Maine.

The Oak Institute has presented a wide range of speakers and guests over the years who have shared their powerful experiences with members of the Colby community. View the Past Events page to learn more about the speaker events and subject matter.

Since 1998 Colby has had 27 Oak Institute for Human Rights Fellows from 23 countries. Prior to being selected, they all had been working on various areas of human rights, from indigenous people’s rights to human trafficking to food sovereignty.