October 08, 2009

Visiting scholar to discuss Osage Nation

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Most calendars in the United States call the second Monday in October, “Columbus Day.” However, the day is also known as “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Jean Dennison comes to Southern Illinois University Carbondale to deliver a keynote address commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day. Her address, “Constituting a Nation: Osage Citizenship and Sovereignty in the 21st Century,” begins at noon on Monday, Oct. 12, in the University Museum auditorium in Faner Hall.

Dennison is an assistant professor of anthropology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a member of the Osage Nation. She is researching and writing a book about recent changes to the Osage Nation’s citizenship and government reform processes. She looks at ways the Osage Nation defines and practices tribal sovereignty, and how tribal leaders interact with the United States federal government.

Dennison enhances the presentation of her research with her video production skills. Her presentation at SIUC will be of interest to students of anthropology, history, political science, Native American studies, the law, and also media studies and broadcasting.

Dennison earned her doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of Florida in 2008. She also studied photography at the Art Institute of Boston. Her professional experience includes an internship with the Osage Tribal Education Department and, beginning in July 2005 and continuing to the present, a position as media specialist for the Osage Nation Language Department.

She has articles forthcoming in the journals “Cultural Anthropology,” and “Heritage Management,” as well as an essay in “Rising from the Ashes,” to be published by University of Nebraska Press.