Lecture on Aboriginal Knowledge and Academic Discourse on Friday 21 August at 12:00

Dr. Hertmut Lutz, Professor emeritus from the University of Greifswald, Germany, gives a lecture at the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages on Friday 21 Agust at 12-13, in room 101 in Oddi at the University of Iceland.

The lecture is entitled “‘They Talk, We Listen,’ or ‘Theory coming through

story’: Aboriginal Knowledge and Academic Discourse” and will be delivered in English. All are welcome.


Since the beginning of Native Studies in the late Sixties and early Seventies, North American Aboriginal writers and intellectuals have, again and again, demanded that we unplug our ears and minds and listen to their voices (Deloria, Forbes), but it seems hard to overcome the Eurocentric notion that “all knowledge worth knowing...was created in Europe”, and that before their colonization, non-European Indigenes had been “sitting on [their] thumbs waiting for enlightenment” (Episkenew).  Using a variety of Indigenous interventions, the presentation will focus on some of the possible reasons for the centuries-old European and Euro-American inability to listen to and take seriously Indigenous philosophies and empirical scientific knowledge. Apart from the prevalent European cultural hubris that the achievements of the enlightenment eclipsed, once and for all, any other forms of scientific insight, the inability to listen also hinges on the way in which such insights are conveyed, and on the ethics they entail. If, as J. Armstrong maintains, “science is nature’s intelligence”, it makes no difference if that intelligence is expressed “through [written] scientific formulae or [spoken] words.”  Following Armstrong’s logic, and acknowledging that Aboriginal oral traditions record, store and transmit centuries and millennia of empirical knowledge about how to live well with the land and all its creatures, we have to acknowledge that empirical knowledge which is conveyed as “theory coming through stories” (Maracle) must be read on a par with abstract scientific formula like the periodic table. 

About the scholar:

Hartmut Lutz taught North American Literatures and Cultures at University of Greifswald, Germany, until his retirement in 2011. His doctorate at the University of Tübingen in 1973 was on psychoanalysis and literature, entitled William Goldings Prosawerk im Lichte der Analytischen Psychologie Carl Gustav Jungs und der Psychoanalyse Sigmund Freuds (1975). His habilitation at the University of Osnabrück in 1983 on Indian stereotyping in U.S. and German cultures was entitled "Indianer" und "Native Americans": Zur sozial- und literaturhistorischen Vermittlung eines Stereotyps (1985). 

Books include: D-Q University (Davis, Ca. 1980), Achte Deines Bruders Traum!

(1987, 1997), Minority Literatures in North America (1989), Contemporary

Challenges: Conversations With Canadian Native Authors (Saskatoon, 1991), Approaches (2002), Connections (Delhi 2003), and The Diary of Abraham Ulrikab (Ottawa, 2005), Howard Adams ‘Otapaway’ (Saskatoon, 2005), What Is Your Place? (2007), Canada in Grainau (2009), Heute sind wir hier/We Are Here Today, (2009), Despite Harper (2014), and Johan Adrian Jacobsen’s Voyage With the Labrador Eskimos 1880-1881 (Gatineau 2014) and Contemporary Achievements: Contextualizing Canadian Aboriginal Literatures (2015). Lutz founded the OBEMA-series, which published twice a year bilingual editions of works by minority authors (1989-1998). 

He taught at the universities of Cologne, Osnabrück, Greifswald and Szczecin (Poland), and at the Native Studies programs in North America including University of California Davis, Dartmouth College, and Saskatchewan Indian Federated College. Guest professorships took him to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Poland, Romania, and Spain. He received Fulbright-, ACLS-, DAAD- and ICCS-fellowships, the Harris Chair (Dartmouth College), the Canadian Government’s 2003 John G. Diefenbaker Award (Ottawa U), the 2012/13 Killam Visiting Fellowship at the University of Calgary, and a 2013 ICCS “Certificate of Merit, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development of Canadian Studies.”

fös, 08/21/2015 -
12:00 to 13:00
Þú ert að nota: brimir.rhi.hi.is