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Welcome to American Indian Studies at Illinois. It is my privilege to serve as Interim Director of AIS and its community of scholars composed of faculty, Postdoctoral Fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, and staff committed to the enterprise of American Indian Studies and Indigenous Studies.

American Indian Studies engages in outstanding teaching and sophisticated research on the historical experience, contemporary conditions, and overall contributions of American Indians. The culture of intellectual collaboration, of willingness to engage new ideas and theoretical approaches, and to continued practice of welcoming (indeed mentoring) others has long been what has made AIS a powerful space of affirmation, of scholarly creativity, and of community.

The past academic year’s activities included the convening of a Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellow Symposium in February where we welcomed past Postdoctoral Fellows Jill Doerfler, Dustin Tahmahkera, and Kevin Whalen. Additionally, AIS benefitted from the work of three postdoctoral fellows last year: Korinta Maldonado, Silvia Soto, and Brianna Theobald. All three have moved into new roles in 2017-18. Maldonado is now a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology; Soto was hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor in AIS; and Theobald joined the History Department at the University of Rochester as an assistant professor. The successes of our postdoctoral fellows illustrates the important work of AIS faculty in engaging and mentoring the next generation of scholars who are producing new knowledge and scholarship that will continue to shape the field of American Indian Studies and Indigenous Studies. In this same regard, we are pleased to welcome a new Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellow Courtney Cottrell, who completed her doctoral studies in Anthropology with a specialty in Museum Studies at the University of Michigan.

Adrian Burgos, Jr.
Interim Director, American Indian Studies