Conversations with Indigenous-Language Activists and Artists

December 20, 2021

Royce K. Young Wolf (Hiraacá [Hidatsa], Nu’eta [Mandan], and Sosore [Eastern Shoshone]) is the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in Native American Art and Curation between Yale’s Department of the History of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, as well as a Yale University Presidential Visiting Fellow. Her work as an Indigenous-language activist has inspired her artistic practice and doctoral research. Young Wolf crafts this lecture from intergenerational storywork, poetics, and experiences from the frontlines where the sociocultural “prestige” associated with fluency sustains yet taints efforts to revitalize endangered language. She demonstrates how the act of creating art has the power to renegotiate language-revitalization relationships by empowering speakers, learners, and teachers. Generously cosponsored by Yale’s Department of the History of Art, the Yale Group for the Study of Native America, and the Gallery’s Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund.