Seminar: In Dialogue with Native Identities and Representations

Edward Sheriff Curtis, A Gray Day in the Bad Lands, 1905
Edward Sheriff Curtis (American, 1868–1952), A Gray Day in the Bad Lands, 1905, plate 86 from the portfolio The North American Indian, volume 9, photogravure, gift of Henrietta E. Failing.


Grace L. Dillon (Anishinaabe) is a professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program, School of Gender, Race, and Nations, at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on a range of interests including Native American and Indigenous studies, Indigenous Futurisms, science fiction, Indigenous cinema, popular culture, race and social justice, and early modern literature. She is the editor of Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (University of Arizona Press, 2012) and Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon State University Press, 2003).

This seminar explores the emerging movement of Indigenous Futurisms, forms of Indigenous-created science fiction and speculative literature/film (fusing sf, fantasy, and horror); we will watch a number of Indigenous Futurisms short films with time for conversation about each showing.

In Dialogue is a new occasional series of interdisciplinary, discussion-based seminars that explore art on view at the Museum in relation to works in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy stages a conversation through images. The exhibition juxtaposes Curtis’ monumental, romanticized record of tribal lives 100 years ago with the work of twenty-first-century Native artists who challenge popular myths of the “noble savage” and the “vanishing race.” Taken together, these works raise critical questions about the portrayal of Native American experiences over the last century. The In Dialogue series of small-group, discussion-based seminars invites you to join in the conversation as we explore Native identities and representations through topics in literature and film, education and citizenship, law and sovereignty, and environmental justice.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. Cost per session: $10 Members/$19.99 non-member. Educator and student discount available.

The series is co-sponsored by Portland State University-University Studies.

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The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.