Alabama Archaeological Society SW Chapter meeting

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Date(s) - November 14, 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

USA Archaeology Museum


Alabama Archaeological Society SW Chapter Meeting, Free & All Are Welcome!
“We are the land, and the land is mother to us all”: Native Feminisms and Environmental Justice in the Work of Four Contemporary Diné Artists by Dr. Betsy Hawley, USA Art History Faculty

In the customs of many Indigenous communities across the Americas, women are associated with and draw power from a deep connection with the Earth. Because of this sacred relationship, colonial invaders’ violence against Indigenous lands via conquest, settlement, and development was—and is—inextricably gendered. Today, legacies of colonial violence persist in the form of extractivist activities and their environmental devastation, with women frequently shouldering responsibilities for the resultant community health hazards. Of particular concern for Diné (Navajo) are the lingering effects of uranium mining carried out on the Navajo Nation from 1944 to 1986. Due to uranium contamination, homes and water sources continue to have dangerously elevated levels of radiation. This talk presents the works of four contemporary Diné artists—Jane Benale, Natani Notah, Emma Robbins, and Bean (Jolene) Nenibah Yazzie—whose practices draw from their identities as Diné women and investments in addressing the environmental injustices caused by uranium mining on Dinétah (Diné homelands).

Elizabeth “Betsy” S. Hawley is an art historian, writer, and curator specializing in art of the Americas and modern and contemporary art. Areas of research expertise include 20th and 21st century Native North American art, feminist/women’s art, activist art, ecocritical art, and art of the American West. Her current book project, under contract with the University of Nebraska Press, tracks the ways early 20th century Pueblo and Anglo-American artists in New Mexico grappled with fallacies of authentic Indigeneity and biases regarding gender roles in art production. Hawley is an assistant professor of art history at the University of South Alabama, and she balances teaching and research with an active curatorial practice. Forthcoming shows include Landscapes of Survivance at the Santa Clara University Art Gallery and Borderwaters at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center.