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SRU Sponsored symposium in July at UEA

SYMPOSIUM: "Bringing Light to the Dark: Visual Sovereignties in Contemporary Indigenous Art of the Americas"

July 19th and 20th, 2019

With exhibition opening on July 19th.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia Organised by "Beyond the Spectacle: Native American Presence in Britain" an AHRC funded research project.

Sponsored by the Sainsbury Research Unit.


Keynote Speakers:

Sonny Assu (Ligwilda'xw of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nations) mixed media artist: "Art & Activism".

Philip J. Deloria (Dakota descent) Prof. of History, Harvard University: "Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract".


"Bringing Light to the Dark" takes its title from Sonny Assu's commentary on his own work, which so often explores Indigenous art as a response to settler colonialism, and its role in asserting Native sovereignty in the face of government suppression of Indigenous cultural production. The symposium will conclude the summer residency of Sonny Assu at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Sonny's residency is the latest in a long history of Native American visitors to this country, bringing their knowledge and expertise to British audiences. The symposium offers an opportunity to acknowledge and explore their many and varied contributions to the entangled histories of Native American and British people. It will also celebrate the opening of an exhibition of Sonny Assu's works and historic Native Northwest Coast objects from the Sainsbury Collection, curated by Sonny.  Sonny Assu will open the exhibition at 6.30, Friday, July 19th, after his keynote lecture.


Philip J. Deloria is the author of many prize-winning texts, including "Playing Indian" (1999) and "Indians in Unexpected Places" (2004). In 2018, he was appointed Harvard's first tenured professor of Native American History. His keynote (and up-coming monograph) will explore the work of his artist ancestor, Mary Sully, to reveal an anti-colonial aesthetic that claimed a critical role for Indigenous women in American Indian futures, within and distinct from American modernity and modernism.


Registration: £65.00 (includes conference dinner and all meals)

Students: £40.00 (includes conference dinner and all meals)

We have a limited number of rooms available on campus for the night of Friday 19th July at £50 for a single and £60 for a double, on a room only basis. These can be booked via and are limited so are on a striclty first come first served basis.

To book a place please follow this link