University of Calgary

Aboriginal authors tackle German “Indianthusiasm”

Submitted by tdroden on Fri, 2012-10-05 09:08.

Oct. 5, 2012

Visiting German professor Hartmut Lutz is teaching a truly rare bird of a course this semester on the Germanic cultural obsession with Native North Americans, which has presented an exciting opportunity for a spin-off lecture series to compliment the class.

Lutz, who comes to Calgary as recipient of the prestigious Killam Visiting Scholar award, notes that the German “Indianthusiasm” which he’s long studied has been met with a dynamic intellectual reaction from North American Aboriginal artists, writers and academics.

Engaging “humorously, critically and self-consciously with German Indianthusiasm” has been a way of “undermining and questioning its myths and stereotypes,” adds Florentine Strzelczyk, head of the Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies department, who initiated Lutz’s Killam Visiting Scholar nod.

This phenomenon has instigated a great deal of contact between Germans and North American Aboriginals, Lutz says. That’s why he and Strzelczyk have initiated Aboriginal Authors Speak: The German Connection, a lecture series to accompany Lutz’s course which brings a handful of prominent aboriginal writers and artists to the university.

The series kicks off Tuesday, October 9, at the Taylor Family Digital Library between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. with Jeannette Armstrong, assistant professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, delivering the lecture Indigenous Voice: Listening From the Outside.

Lectures to follow – all held between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – include author and poet Emma Lee Warrior on October 25, at a site yet to be determined, and writer Warren Cariou on November 15 at the Rozsa Centre. Cariou’s lecture, The Other Canada, will focus on “energy, otherness and human rights.”

Well-known Ojibway playwright Drew Hayden Taylor will take “a serious look at native humour” on November 20. Closing the series will be multimedia artist Neal McLeod, who will be reading from his new novel Neechie Hustle. Both of those lectures will be in the Taylor Family Digital Library. For more information on the lecture series contact the department of Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies at or 403-220-5293.

Media Contact:

Heath McCoy
Communications Advisor, University of Calgary Phone: 403-220-5089