For this short “Snapshot” feature, photographers selected one of their photographs and wrote a short reflection on what it shows us about the ever-shifting relationship between people and place in the South.
Going beyond a call to simply add more Indians to studies of the region, the essay urges a reconceptualization of time, place, and power, such as expanding the temporal frame and grappling with tensions between and among American Indians, African Americans, and others in the South. Despite tremendous advances in the field with respect to analyses of race and gender, a significant blind spot remains with regard to Native American history and the stakes of ignoring it include extending the project of settler colonialism.
At 7:00 a.m., the first students arrive at the gym. Sleepy but excited, they begin setting up, making sure there are chairs for dancers and tables for vendors, organizations, and T-shirts. Finally, it’s powwow weekend. It will be hours until the singers and dancers show up, but the vendors are already here, having left home early in the morning to sell their jewelry, leatherwork, and shawls. Warm-ups and grand entry are about to begin, and these are the last quiet moments before conversations, drums, jingles, and singing announce to the campus community: this is us. We are here.