Indigenous knowledge, practices, belief systems, and ways of being in the world move within and across humanistic, social scientific, and scientific divides. More than just a cross-disciplinary field, Indigenous Studies is a methodological framework that asks the fundamental question “Where are we?” and grounds its research in the protocols of acknowledging place and the researcher’s position. As a student in the Indigenous Studies research cluster, you will develop disciplinary expertise in your home departments while also working through and across diverse ways of knowing – ultimately, perhaps, challenging the very definitions of your primary disciplinary framework.

Areas of Study

Students in this cohort will come from a variety of doctoral programs and collaborate with each other and with faculty mentors on a variety of possible overlapping themes, such as visual and material cultures; ecology, resiliency and adaptation; and historical perspectives and cultural heritage. For example, you might join existing research initiatives or propose your own projects related to Indigenous data collection, curation, and sovereignty in partnership with anthropologists, data scientists and UVA librarians. You might explore Indigenous arts, languages, and landscapes with linguists, art historians, musicologists and curators at the University’s Fralin Museum of Art and Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Aboriginal Art. You might focus on Indigenous science, technology, and sustainability with faculty in Architecture and Spanish languages and cultures and members of the Charlottesville community. By working within and across these kinds of themes through coursework, conference presentations, co-authorship, and informal mentoring, graduate student researchers will help to develop new collaborative projects with faculty and community members.