Submit a Proposal

The Returning the Gift conference will be held October 8-11, 2017 at the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK). The deadline for proposals is July 10th, 2017. There is still plenty of time to submit! Please find the instructions below.

Next October the Native Writers Circle of the Americas will host the 25th anniversary Returning the Gift Indigenous Storytelling and Literary Festival. Over four days, more than a hundred award winning tribal writers, storytellers, and artists will create workshops, dances, staged readings, poetry slams, comedy sketches, documentary films, pedagogical discussions, literary studies, environmental social justice projects, and live art.

RTG organizers invite proposals from scholars, artists, activists, writers, policy makers, and community members that connect with our theme for the festival “Gathering at Our Headwaters.” The theme allows us to focus on two main threads during our festival—reflection and clarity. This is our silver anniversary, making it appropriate for us to reflect on the path of the last 25 years in indigenous creative work. What progress has been made in indigenous literature and art? How has the reception of indigenous creatives and their work changed in the publishing, literary, and academic industries? What shifts have occurred in indigenous focused pedagogy, tribal language programs, and the tribal student body?

In addition, paa (water) is a sacred element. It brings life, sustains communities, and inspires countless artists. Indigenous people are all too familiar with the politics of water. The struggle over water figures centrally in self-determination, sovereignty, nationhood, autonomy, resistance, and survival. It is clear with the growing number of legal battles over water rights, continued environmentally destructive acts, the ongoing protests against tar sand pipelines, fracking disposal wells, deep water drilling, pollution levels of the oceans, and the inevitable traumas brought about due to climate change that the need for protective action is growing. Indigenous peoples around the world have formulated innovative and powerful responses to the contamination, exploitation, and theft of water. We wish to honor those responses and further this work as part of our festival. We seek contributions that address the politics of water in any number of diverse historical, political, tribal, or regional contexts. We also seek a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, including environmental science, social justice, policy, literary, grassroots, activist, historical, and artistic approaches.

We encourage innovative project ideas as well as the traditional conference fare. Proposal leader and team member positions can be held by anyone, but we especially encourage proposals that include diverse voices and identify any tribal affiliations within the team. All proposals should include: 

1] A title 

2] 300 word limit proposal text 

3] name, contact info, and a short bio of the lead presenter 

4] names of all other team members 

5] type of presentation/event 

6] subject, theme, or concept 

7] any audio/visual needs or other project necessities for success.

Send your proposals or any questions to returningthegift@gmail.com, Matt Kliewer, or Emma Allen. We look forward to your participation and presence in October.

If you choose, you may also fill out the proposal form below. The form will send your proposal directly to the RTG team. The form does not accept file uploads, so we recommend sending a traditional Email if you wish to send your proposal in a separate file.

Note: Please choose only one submission method per proposal. If you have any questions or need to make a correction to your proposal, notify the RTG team.   

Deadline: July 10th, 2017

Response: TBA

 

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